Japan is NATO’s first feeder in Asia. Cartoon: Vitaly Podvitsky
French President Emmanuel Macron expressed concern over Nato’s plan to open an office in Tokyo, a move Chinese experts called a “smart and brave” move on Tuesday as his concerns speak for more members opposed to the US’s self-serving agenda to drag the alliance into Asia. -The Pacific only serves US hegemony while overburdening its members.
Contrary to France’s logic, Japan is increasingly tied to the US chariot in containing China in the Asia-Pacific, inviting NATO to intervene in regional affairs. Experts warned that not only would it face severe criticism and opposition from other regional countries, but Japan would be at the forefront of attacks if tensions escalated.
Macron’s opposition to NATO’s Tokyo office is because he believes the transatlantic security alliance should focus on its own North Atlantic region, the Financial Times reported on Monday.
Macron said NATO should not expand its reach beyond the North Atlantic: “If we push NATO to enlarge the spectrum and the geography, we will make a big mistake,” the FT reported.
The rejection from France complicated months of negotiations within NATO to create the alliance’s first outpost in the Asia-Pacific, the Financial Times reported, citing eight people familiar with the situation.
Similar to Macron, countries in the Asia-Pacific have repeatedly expressed their concerns about NATO’s expansion in Asia. “NATO only exists in the West and now it seems to be involved in various activities in the Asia-Pacific region, which brings ASEAN concerns,” Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said during a graduation ceremony for students on Monday morning. The media reported.
In response to Macron’s remarks, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a regular press conference on Tuesday that the attitude of the majority of countries in the region is very clear about the expansion of NATO’s influence into the Asia-Pacific. They oppose the emergence of military groups in the region. They do not welcome NATO expansion in Asia. They do not want a repeat of the conflict in Asia. They will certainly not allow another cold war or hot war in Asia.
Asia lies beyond the geographic reach of the North Atlantic, and there is no need for a replica of NATO. However, we have seen NATO move eastward into the region, meddling in local affairs and inciting conflict. What does NATO actually do? Wang asked.
Speaking at the 20th Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on Sunday, Chinese State Councilor and Minister of National Defense Li Shangfu warned that efforts to advance NATO-like (alliances) in the Asia-Pacific are a way to hijack and exaggerate regional countries. Conflicts and confrontations These alliances will plunge the Asia-Pacific into a vortex of disputes and conflicts.
It is easy to understand why America wants NATO to expand into the Asia-Pacific. Chinese military expert and TV commentator Song Zhongping told the Global Times on Tuesday that a military alliance with European countries has already been achieved to contain Russia in the West, and a strong multilateral military alliance is needed in the East to defeat China.
“NATO Pivot in Asia Works for US Hegemony, But What About Other Members?” Song asked.
Echoing Song, Lu Xiang, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Tuesday that most European countries may echo France’s position, but they may not have the courage to speak out against the US. Macron’s opposition is partly to show France’s diplomatic independence, Lu said, as those countries speak out to stand up to the U.S.’s self-interested agenda.
Lu also pointed out that since most European countries are caught up in the Ukraine crisis, expanding NATO’s influence could be too much of a financial and military burden for them.
In December 2022, German officials backed away from their previous pledge to invest more than 2 percent of GDP in defense, saying such a defense budget would only be met by 2025. NATO’s Asia Pivot” is traumatized.
Local non grata
Wang Wenbin said at a press conference on Tuesday that NATO should maintain a clear mind, and Japan should make the right decision in line with regional stability and development interests, and not do things that break trust among regional countries or undermine regional peace.
In an interview with CNN in May, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said Japan is not a treaty member of NATO, but NATO’s move to open an office in Tokyo sends a message that the bloc’s Asia-Pacific partners are “engaging in very consistent activities.” with NATO”
Lu believes that if the Tokyo office is opened, it will only play a “symbolic role” in the short term, but even if Japan acts as a US vassal, invites foreign forces into the Asia-Pacific and engages in confrontation in Asia, it will face strong opposition from the regional level. Countries.
John Pang, a former Malaysian government official and senior research fellow at Malaysia’s Perak Academy, told the Global Times. Beside the Shangri-La dialog That the promotion of military structures like NATO in our region is based on a division and expansion concept of security. This concept of security systematically provokes the security crisis and exploits it to justify further militarization. This vicious cycle creates a pipeline of war for the military-industrial complex.
To counter NATO’s expansion into Asia, Song Zhongping said China should strengthen its diplomatic efforts with its neighboring countries and explain NATO’s conspiracy and conspiracy to them.
China should also take strong countermeasures to convince those countries that in the event of any provocation from or on behalf of NATO, they will be at the forefront of China’s counterattacks if they dare to stand on the US chariot against China.