The head of Nato says the alliance must address the implications of China's rise as a military power, but insisted he did not want to make an adversary of Beijing.
Jens Stoltenberg said China's growing capabilities - including missiles that can hit Europe and the United States - meant the alliance had to tackle the issue together.
The leaders of Nato's 29 member states begin a two-day summit in London on Wednesday where they are set to approve a report on how to deal with China and its growing international assertiveness.
"We have now recognised that the rise of China has security implications for all allies," Stoltenberg said.
"China has the second largest defence budget in the world and has recently displayed a lot of new, modern capabilities including long-range missiles able to reach the whole of Europe and the United States."
China's actions in the South China Sea have also become a cause of concern, with the US and other nations accusing it of intimidation Beijing has built military installations, rammed vessels and sent survey ships into disputed areas in the sea, where several countries have competing claims.
Nato's defence remit is limited to Europe and North America, but Stoltenberg said China's influence was beginning to reach its shores. "It's not about moving Nato into the South China Sea but about taking into account that China is coming closer to us in the Arctic, in Africa, investing heavily in our infrastructure in Europe, in cyberspace."
But he said the new approach was "not to create a new adversary but to analyse and understand and respond in a balanced way to the challenges China poses". (AFP)