For the first time, the notion of “challenging China” will be included in the “NATO Strategic Concept” to be published at the Madrid summit of the transatlantic military bloc this week. The document, last updated in 2010, outlines the security challenges facing NATO and, at the same time, outlines an action plan against the main dangers.

Almost simultaneously, the G7, the group of the seven major democratic economies on the planet, used harsh language against China in its statement on Tuesday, just days after launching a $ 600 billion infrastructure investment plan. , meant to counter the controversial “One Belt, One Road” initiative, the soul project of Chinese President Xi Jinping

European leaders have become increasingly distrustful of China in recent years, and their concerns have worsened in recent months as Beijing has repeatedly refused to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine and strengthened ties with the Kremlin.

Unite against Xi

While some NATO members want to ensure that the organization remains focused on Russia, the United States – by far the strongest member of the transatlantic military bloc – has called China “the most serious long-term challenge to the international order.”

This week’s political and diplomatic developments, which show that the Chinese regime is more in the spotlight than ever before, point to a growing alignment between the United States and its partners. The positions expressed by the G7 and NATO mark a significant failure for Beijing, which has tried in recent years to create a gap between American and European positions on China.

The combination of the harsh language used by the G7 and the official inclusion of China in NATO’s strategic documents is thus undoubtedly a severe blow to the communist regime led by Xi Jinping.

Disastrous association

Through the voice of his spokesman, Zhao Lijian, the Chinese Foreign Ministry tried on Tuesday to protest against the imminent categorization of the Asian colossus as a “systemic challenge”, in the new strategic vision of NATO.

“We solemnly call on NATO to immediately stop spreading false and provocative statements against China,” the spokesman said, adding that the Western alliance should “stop trying to disrupt Asia and the world after disrupting Europe.” ”.

It is this rhetoric – blaming NATO for “disrupting” Europe – that seems to have exacerbated European sentiment against China, as Beijing refuses to condemn Russia’s actions in Ukraine, including killing civilians, while actively blaming the US and NATO for the war. of Moscow.

China “has aligned itself very quickly and very clearly – at least in words, not so much in deeds – with Russia,” while the transatlantic partners have united against the Russians in support of Ukraine following the invasion. the Chatham House think tank in London.

The contrast between the two sides contributed to the emergence of the “democracies versus autocrats” discourse in Europe, he added, adding that domestic politics also plays an important role in defining this rift.

“In Central and Eastern Europe, where Russia is considered by far the main security threat, relations with China had already begun to fall apart, but the fact that Beijing has so clearly aligned itself with Moscow has accelerated change,” said the expert from the British think tank.

Towards an Asian NATO

Against the background of the war in Ukraine and the ideological schism between the West and autocratic regimes, NATO is expanding not only in the Nordic countries, but also wants to co-opt countries in the Asia-Pacific region, such as New Zealand, Australia, South Korea and Japan.

Closer relations between the transatlantic military alliance and these countries have further angered China, which claims that NATO is trying to expand its presence in the Indo-Pacific region, which Beijing considers its own area.

With their eyes on the war in Ukraine, the democracies in the Pacific now seem to realize, better than ever, that the only solid guarantee against an expansionist colossus is to join the Western military bloc.

“We cannot allow Cold War wastewater to drain into the Pacific Ocean; this should be the general consensus in the Asia-Pacific region! ”

Global Times, unofficial Communist Party of China

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