NATO extending tentacles into Asia-Pacific will only end in failure
Published: Jul 09, 2024 08:38 PM
Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

The 2024 NATO summit kicks off in Washington on Tuesday. This annual event has not only turned into a "rumor mill" for the "China threat" theory, but has also once again proven NATO's ambition to meddle in Asia-Pacific affairs.

The tactics the West has been using to garner attention on this event are nothing more than constant hyping of the "China threat" theory. Under the hype from the US and NATO, it seems that China has become the "key" to the survival of Europe, controlling the fate of the Russia-Ukraine conflict like a "decisive power." Moreover, NATO has invited Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, and Australia for three consecutive years and attempted to form an "Asia-Pacific NATO." This organization, which originally claimed to be "defensive," is now trying to prove it can "protect" the whole "Asia-Pacific" region.

NATO, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary but should have been ditched into the trash bin of history long ago, is now weak internally and facing numerous challenges. The uncertainty concerning the French parliamentary elections, the US upcoming presidential elections, and the increase in European defense spending have raised concerns. NATO is no longer a united organization on many issues. This already loose alliance, under the leadership of the US, is now hoping to build unity by spreading the rumor that "China is threatening regional security." 

In fact, the US is not only aiming to contain China through NATO, but to control the entire Asia-Pacific region. In order to achieve this goal, NATO is trying to woo regional countries in many ways, constantly creating and exaggerating security crisis in the Asia-Pacific. As a result, some regional countries have fallen into this US trap. According to reports, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand have started coordinating with NATO to strengthen cooperation in areas such as cybersecurity and disinformation. There may be ulterior motives behind some regional countries' hasty involvement in NATO affairs, but this is a dangerous gamble that could easily lead these countries into the abyss. 

Europe has witnessed turbulences, tensions and conflicts because of NATO. Now the US is intending to lead the bloc to reach more deeply into Asia, trying to establish an "Asia-Pacific NATO" to help achieve the US' "Indo-Pacific Strategy." This will only trigger opposition from the vast majority of regional countries. 

"It is difficult for the 'Asia-Pacific NATO' to make any substantial breakthroughs," Xiang Haoyu, a research fellow at the China Institute of International Studies, told the Global Times. The Asia-Pacific region is fundamentally different from Europe in terms of ideology, values, and geography. It is impossible for the US and its allies in the region to establish a NATO-like alliance. 

In addition, most countries in the Asia-Pacific were colonies or semi-colonies in the past, while many Western countries were colonizers who cannot empathize with regional countries and will only use their old colonial thinking to control the region. 

Asia-Pacific countries are eager for peace and stability. The Asia-Pacific region is the engine of the global economy due to having peace and stability. If NATO, a military alliance whose mission is to disrupt and incite conflicts, stretches its tentacles further into the Asia-Pacific region, regional dynamics will be overshadowed by confrontation and turmoil instead of development and prosperity.

The Asia-Pacific region doesn't welcome NATO's meddling in the region. The vast majority of countries in the region want the US-led NATO to stop creating tensions, peddling the Cold War mentality, and provoking bloc confrontations in the region. The bloc shouldn't bring instability to the Asia-Pacific as it has done in Europe. Forcibly meddling in regional affairs will inevitably provoke stronger opposition against the transatlantic military bloc. NATO extending its influence further into Asia-Pacific will only end in failure.