At the same time NATO members are discussing a stronger, unified defense against Russia, another powerful enemy lurks far away in the Pacific. That enemy is China.
James Carafano, a national security expert at The Heritage Foundation, warns in a Oct. 3 “Global Politics” analysis that NATO is threatened because China’s powerful tentacles touch everything from telecommunications and space to railroads and ports.
“NATO will need all this infrastructure to deter conflict and defend itself,” Carafano explains in his commentary. “Yet if China controls the off-switch or has the capacity to conduct malicious or denial activities, NATO’s capacity for self-defense will be severely compromised.”
NATO is aware of this Asian influence, too, since NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg recently commented that NATO is not moving into the Pacific but “China is coming closer to us.”
Australia has reportedly awakened to China’s secretive influence in its government and media, for example, only to be threatened by China for pushing back.
Meanwhile, the United States and Europe are grappling with the totalitarian government’s ties to telecom giant Huawei and its powerful 5G mobile network.
According to The New York Times, Congress and the Trump administration are attempting to balance groundbreaking technology with the obvious threat of Chinese intelligence gathering. A vote is scheduled for today by the Federal Communications Commission on barring wireless providers from buying Huawei equipment with federal subsidies meant to expand broadband access.
Carafano tells OneNewsNow that NATO’s military dependence on infrastructure and digital technology, for example, must be protected against the “malicious” Chinese effort to undermine the alliance.
“And in a sense China doesn't get a veto over that because they control infrastructure or they're capable of undermining digital systems,” Carafano says. “Or they gather critical intelligence that they share with the Russians, or they can browbeat governments into voting against NATO defending itself."