tirsdag 15. juni 2021

Expect China to be furious at being cast as a threat to the west

When the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Nato) was established on 4 April 1949, its mission was to counterbalance armies from the Soviet Union that were stationed in central and eastern Europe after the conclusion of the second world war. After Emmanuel Macron, the current leader of one of its founding members, France, called it “brain-dead” in 2019, some analysts said the alliance will have to look for a new unifying mission to keep itself relevant in the new age of great power competition between the US and China.

It is of little surprise therefore that the traditionally Russia-focused military alliance has, for the first time, asserted that it needs to respond to Beijing’s growing power during this week’s summit in Brussels, calling it a “systemic challenge” – echoing the EU’s phrase “systemic rival” and the UK’s “systemic competitor”. This follows last week’s G7 summit in Cornwall, where the leaders of some of the world’s richest nations publicly exhibited their dissatisfaction with China.