BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Chinese Vietnamese Burmese Thai Indonesian
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Asia-Pacific  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Thursday, 14 November, 2002, 23:15 GMT
China seeks dialogue with Nato
Chinese soldiers on parade
China has seen Nato's influence move into Asia

According to Nato officials, China has approached the Atlantic alliance with the aim of opening up a continuing strategic dialogue between Nato and Beijing.

Chinese diplomats recently held talks in Brussels with the alliance's Secretary General, Lord Robertson.

At a meeting on 10 October, they proposed the idea of regular contacts to discuss strategic concepts, common threats and Nato's activities in Central Asia.

This is an unprecedented development, which says much about China's desire to engage in a wider dialogue on security matters.

The Nato Secretary General, Lord Robertson
Lord Robertson met China's ambassador last month

It is also indicative of the continuing change in Nato's sphere of interest.

Little by little, Nato is taking on a much broader role, its activities bringing it ever closer to China's backyard.

A number of former Soviet Central Asian republics which border China are now members of Nato's Partnership for Peace programme.

They discuss security matters with Nato; they can be involved in joint training and so on. And the alliance is looking eastwards, too. It could soon be playing an important facilitating role in the Afghan peace force.

'Friendly meeting'

The German and Dutch governments, whose troops will soon take over command of the force from Turkey, have asked Nato planners to help with various aspects of the operation.

All of this has registered on China's radar screens. It sees this once distant alliance as a security player that could potentially intrude into its sphere of interest - hence the Chinese call for a strategic dialogue between Nato and Beijing.

Last month, at his own request, China's ambassador to Brussels, Guan Chengyuan, met Lord Robertson.

It was by all accounts a very friendly meeting.

Nato officials sound a little bemused by the surprise Chinese overture, but are eager to put flesh on the bones of Beijing's proposal once the forthcoming Nato summit in Prague is over.

See also:

30 Sep 02 | Country profiles
14 Nov 02 | Asia-Pacific
14 Nov 02 | Business
13 Nov 02 | Asia-Pacific
29 Oct 02 | Asia-Pacific
16 Oct 02 | Europe
07 Jun 02 | Asia-Pacific
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Asia-Pacific stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Asia-Pacific stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes