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The Indo-Pacific, NATO’s new way to curb China’s ambitions

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The region of Indo-Pacific will be one of the new geostrategic routes of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to curb the political, economic and military ambitions of Chinawhich is already considered a “systemic threat”, as established in the Strategic Concept, approved at the allied summit that concluded this Thursday in Madrid.

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To curb these ambitions, NATO and several key countries in the region, such as Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand (which for the first time have attended an allied summit as guests), have strengthened their geostrategic relations in Madrid in order to to consolidate a kind of continuous system of shared values ​​and objectives.

“China is not our adversary, but we must keep our eyes open to the serious challenges it represents and we must continue to support our partners to preserve the rules-based international order, a global system based on norms and values, instead of brute force. . NATO will therefore intensify cooperation with our Indo-Pacific partners,” Allied Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday.

This collaboration will include chapters dedicated to cyber defense, new technologies, maritime security, climate change and the fight against disinformation, he specified.

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In this way, it is intended to avoid what would be a kind of insularization of allies in a very extensive region and to which the Alliance, due to its own nature and geographical limitations, cannot reach by itself.

The countries of the Indo-Pacific, in particular Australia, Japan and South Korea, are well aware that individually they cannot counteract the shocks of China (always with the clear objective of its irredentist aspirations over Taiwan) and that it seeks -and finds- allies in the region (and outside it), so they must try to establish a kind of joint partnership, not only among themselves, but also with NATO, a fundamental pivot and which considers this rapprochement as a primary means of penetration.

In fact, for the United States, the Indo-Pacific is its main geostrategic concern, as was made clear in September 2021 with the AUKUS alliance (also made up of Australia and the United Kingdom), which then aroused China’s misgivings and not a few suspicions among several of the allies, who considered that Washington was progressively disregarding its role in the Alliance to seek associations of convenience with partners of circumstances, in a clear demonstration of the realist theory of international relations.

The president of the United States, Joe Biden, who held meetings with Japan and South Korea in Madrid, considers trilateral cooperation on regional issues “essential”, especially with regard to North Korea (China’s close ally) and its recent tests of missiles.

However, the war in Ukraine and the geostrategic aggressiveness shown by the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, somewhat disrupted the plans and initiatives of the United States, which has had no alternative but to strongly support kyiv in military terms and encourage the Allies said support, in particular to avoid a perhaps irreversible breakdown of the security structure in Europe, which until the Russian invasion of Ukrainian territory on February 24 seemed to have been firmly consolidated.

The Strategic Concept points out that Russia, the situation in Ukraine and the so-called “eastern flank” with the organization’s expansion to Sweden and Finland are NATO’s main concerns, but not the only ones, as evidenced by the various paragraphs dedicated to China. .

In this sense, the document emphasizes that “the ambitions and coercive policies of the People’s Republic of China challenge our interests, security and values”, while referring to the malicious hybrid and cybernetic operations “carried out by Beijing, already their “confrontational and disinformation rhetoric” that “target the Allies and seek to harm their security Alliance.”

According to the allies, China is part of a “systemic competition that challenges our interests, security and values ​​and tries to undermine the rules on which the international order is based.”

It is not considered a “threat”, as it is with Russia, but it warns of the risks that it entails if mechanisms are not established to counteract them, although it is also emphasized in the Concept that ways of dialogue are still being sought and of “reciprocal transparency” with Beijing.

China has reacted with harsh criticism of the Strategic Concept and a spokesman for its Mission to the European Union (EU) stated today that “thirty years later NATO still continues with its tactic of creating enemies and fomenting bloc confrontation”.

For Japan, China’s role in the Ukrainian conflict and its close relationship with Russia is “quite worrying”, despite continuous calls for Beijing to act more responsibly, Koichiro Matsumoto, the cabinet’s director of international communication, told Efe. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

For this reason, said the Japanese representative, “we are going to develop a new National Security Strategy, which will replace the one drawn up in 2000 and which will serve as a guideline to strengthen our defense capacity.”

Source: Gestion

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