Model UN: The Chinese Threat to NATO
Last Wednesday (21), EABH’s MUN club conducted the first Mini MUN of the year. The committee of the time was the North Atlantic Council, which is the main decision-making body of NATO; the council, moreover, met to address the rise of the People’s Republic of China. The conference was held in the school's library and had the presence of 16 delegates and 2 chairs.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is an intergovernmental military alliance created amidst the Cold War to provide nations in the Northern-Atlantic region with collective security against the Soviet Union. Since the fall of the Berlin wall, however, the organization has expanded into previous Soviet satellite states in the Balkans and Eastern Europe without major resistance from its Russian counterparts. The situation, however, changed recently when Ukraine was considering accession. The Russian Federation saw this action as a direct threat to its interests and used Western encroachment as a pretext to invade the neighboring country. During these troubled times, the one country that has not condemned the Russian invasion is the People’s Republic of China, which has not implemented sanctions on Russia and keeps its partnership and trading with little to no change.
While the events in Ukraine have been prolonged, tensions between China and Taiwan have been growing. At this moment, China has threatened to invade Taiwan, similar to what Russia has done. And NATO believes that this growing expansion of China’s territory and military forces are growing threats to their commercial and strategic interests, hence the urgency to address the matter. Most countries present at this conference acknowledge that this is a delicate situation that could potentially grow into military conflict and understand that China should suffer some consequences for its expansion. However, there are a few highly influential countries in the organization that deeply rely on having a good relationship and trading paths with China, such as Italy and South Korea.
The conference began with opening speeches, where each delegate had 1 minute to introduce themselves and their stance on the topic. The most prominent countries were the US, which firmly argued that China’s actions were “Unlawful” and therefore the country should suffer some consequences; the UK, which stated that they were “concerned about the military advantage of China, and therefore the potential of war”; and Canada, which “Urges the council to take action and punish China.” During these opening speeches, a few delegates, such as Spain, Greece, and Turkey, clearly took a neutral stance on the matter.
After the end of the opening speeches, the council began with individual speeches, and the first delegation to speak was the United States. The delegation of the US was extremely firm and cohesive in their opinion on the matter, stating that “China is bullying and Intimidating other nations” and, therefore, “they wish to uphold the UN rules and stop the spread of China’s forces in the South China Sea.” The delegation was then open to any and all points of information; however, none were made. The following delegation to speak was Canada, which also showed a strong position on the matter, ensuring that everyone was aware of the horrific crimes against human rights that China has been committing throughout its expansion efforts. The delegation showed data from 12 million households under the Chinese government's authoritarian control.
The speeches that argued more in favor of the people’s republic of China came from the delegations of Turkey and Italy. Turkey proposed that the council wait before taking any actions toward China since this could lead to military conflict. And this was the delegation that received the most points of information up till this point, due to some highly controversial phrases spoken during its speech. For example, the delegation stated that China is not a threat until they start infringing human rights and “killing people without their consent.” Italy, on the other hand, took the floor, made its statement, and then left without opening for any points of information.
The main controversies of this topic arose from the fact that any severe action taken by NATO towards China could lead to a terrible war once China becomes a significant potency of the world with a grand military and powerful alliances such as Russia. Most delegates wished to find a peaceful resolution to the issue. That is why the resolution that was passed by the end valued the protection of countries like Taiwan that are currently under the threat of China and helped them maintain the stability of their economy even without connections with China.
Overall, this was a fun and interesting conference, where delegates and chairs could glimpse the potential of this MUN group for the following school year and prepare themselves for the big BRAMUN conference that is coming up in March.