Brussels: NATO leaders agree that China poses a constant security challenge and is working to undermine the global rules-based system, and they are worried about how fast it’s developing nuclear missiles.

In a summit statement Monday, the leaders said that China’s goals and assertive behaviour present systemic challenges to the rules-based international order and to areas relevant to alliance security.

While the 30 heads of state and government avoid calling China a rival, they did express concern about its coercive policies, the opaque ways it is modernizing its armed forces and its use of disinformation.

They called on Beijing to uphold its international commitments and to act responsibly in the international system, including in the space, cyber, and maritime domains, in keeping with its role as a major power.

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But the leaders also said they welcome opportunities to engage with China on things like climate change.

The statement, endorsed Monday at their summit in Brussels, lays out the military organisation’s stance on China for the first time. Diplomats say it was one of the hardest parts of the statement to draft.

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