onsdag 23. mars 2022

China Warns U.S. Against Forming 'Indo-Pacific NATO'

China's NATO blame game in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine has been brought back to Asia, where Beijing says U.S. alliance-building could result in a great power clash before long. The Chinese leadership's decision to side with Russia came long before Vladimir Putinordered troops across lines of control into Ukrainian-held territory on February 24. Officials in Beijing sympathize with Moscow's grievances against the West because they perceive a similar U.S.-led containment effort happening around them, despite American assurances that it's not the case.

From China's perspective, a contested land border with India as well as maritime and territorial disputes with half a dozen neighbors—among them U.S. treaty allies—are just about manageable. Beijing already has enough on its plate without a persistent NATOpresence in the region, and it would very much like to keep it that way.

During a meeting with the alliance's secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, in September 2021, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said his country "has not been, and will not be, a rival to NATO." The military bloc, he said, "should adhere to its original geographic positioning"—the most roundabout way of telling NATO to stay out of Asia.