NATO ADJUSTS ITS STRATEGIC CONCEPT AND CHINA || Breaking News of International Level



The three-day NATO summit kicked off on June 28 in Madrid, the capital of Spain. The Russian invasion of Ukraine in the eastern end of Europe has entered its fifth month. The violent and turbulent international situation in the past six months has made this summit a summit to demonstrate NATO's determination and internal unity.

Russia's CONCEPT of invasion of Ukraine has undoubtedly reinvigorated transatlantic relations. At the same time, the European security policy has also entered a new stage of adjustment. NATO will announce a new strategic concept at this summit, and Russia will become the most important and direct threat.

NATO's security and China will also be mentioned for the first time in NATO's strategic concept. Independent commentator Wu Qiang said, "This summit can be seen as the beginning of the post-Ukrainian CONCEPT international order."

NATO strategic concept first mentions China

As the military alliance with the most military and economic strength in the world, NATO has always regarded Russia (the former Soviet Union) as its main imaginary enemy since its establishment in 1949. In the words of Hastings Ismay, the first-generation NATO Secretary-General, the purpose of NATO is to "stop Russia, keep the United States, and suppress Germany."

With the dissolution of the CONCEPT Pact and the disintegration of the former Soviet Union, since the late 1990s, the former CONCEPT Pact member states in Eastern Europe and some republics of the former Soviet Union have joined NATO, and the political and economic integration within Europe has been further deepened.

In this context, the current NATO strategic concept was adopted at the Lisbon summit in 2010. The Euro-Atlantic region at this time was described as "at peace" and Russia was seen as a strategic partner of NATO. One of the key topics of the summit at that time was to discuss the joint construction of a European anti-missile system with Russia. The then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev was also invited to the NATO summit for the first time.

The Most Important And Immediate Threat:

However, 12 years later, Russia has once again returned to the opposite side of NATO, becoming the "most important and immediate threat" to the security of NATO members. Moreover, in this NATO strategic concept, for the first time, a country that is geographically far away from a NATO member state - China will appear.

NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg publicly stated at a briefing before the summit on June 22, "President Putin's CONCEPT against Ukraine is the most urgent threat we face. It has broken the peace in Europe. The competition between democracy and authoritarianism is on the rise. Moscow and Beijing are openly fighting for a rules-based international order.”

There is no doubt that Beijing's standing in the Ukrainian-Russian CONCEPT has substantially changed the attitude of Western countries toward China. The first mention of "China" in this NATO strategic concept is just a series of "China challenges (threats)". reconfirmation".

Challenges and Threats

In the G7 communique concluded before the opening of the Madrid summit, the word " China" appeared in the communique 14 times, the most in history. In addition to criticizing China's opaque and market-distorting government interventions, issues such as Hong Kong's autonomy and human rights in Tibet and Xinjiang were also explicitly mentioned. 

On the issue of the Ukraine-Russia CONCEPT, China is urged to use its influence over Russia to make Russia withdraw its troops from Ukraine immediately and unconditionally, and abandon.

According to media reports, the wording on China in the strategic concept was reached after intense discussions. France and Germany insisted on describing China as a " challenge" to the transatlantic security order, rather than as Russia, which has clearly emerged as a " threat".

Post-Ukrainian CONCEPT International Order:

"In the post-Ukrainian international order, Russia and China are now clearly established as threats to NATO. Whether it's a " challenge" or a " threat", I think it's just rhetoric." Wu Qiang, a former political science lecturer at Tsinghua University who is now an independent commentator, said in an interview with VOA, “This summit can be seen as a summit designed around the post-Ukrainian CONCEPT international order.

China is becoming a part of this Ukraine. A joint strategic opponent of the Russian CONCEPT, which is also the political consequence of China’s choice to become a quasi-alliance with Russia. This is the beginning of the post-Ukrainian international order.”

Wu Qiang believes that the first mention of China in NATO's strategic concept is based on China's past ten years and its judgment on China's future direction. China has also been promoting its own model of authoritarianism. NATO from the security of the democratic camp, and the existing From the perspective of the international order, to talk about China's challenge, this challenge will be longer-term, more powerful, and more dangerous than Russia's."

NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg once again expressed NATO's disappointment with China's position at a press conference on Monday. One is that China has failed to condemn Russia's invasion of Ukraine and that China is spreading some false accusations about NATO and the West, and the other is that NATO also feels that China and Russia now seem to be closer than ever, he said.

In an interview with VOA, Oscar Almén, a senior researcher at the Swedish Defence Institute (FOI), gave a clear explanation of Sweden's relations with China and Russia.

"There is a big difference between Russia's threat to Sweden and China's threat to Sweden. China has economic influence, while Russia has a substantial military threat. If China supports Russia, then it will indirectly affect Sweden's security as well. So, it is not in Sweden's interest for China to support Russia. If China supports Russia economically, then EU sanctions against Russia will have a weaker effect, which will pose a security threat to both Europe and Sweden. This is a more immediate threat".

Australia, and New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, attend the summit:

Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand were also invited to attend the Madrid summit for the first time, which is also widely regarded by the outside world as a manifestation of NATO's concerns and concerns about China.

As a transatlantic military alliance, NATO already has considerable experience in dealing with Russia, but in dealing with China, the four Asia-Pacific countries invited this time are undoubtedly more experienced.

NATO and the four Asia-Pacific countries have had in-depth communication and cooperation in recent years.

The NATO foreign ministers' video conference held in December 2020 invited Japan, South Korea, and Australia to participate and discussed how to deal with the rise of China's military power. In May of this year, Koji Yamazaki, the integrated chief of staff of the Japan Self-Defense Forces, was invited to participate in the NATO Chiefs of Staff meeting.

"We do see a deepening divide between China and the EU," Tim Rühlig, a researcher at the German Council on Foreign Relations, told VOA. It makes perfect sense for partners, especially to have diverse engagement with democracies in the Asia-Pacific region."

However, the participation of the four Asia-Pacific countries in the NATO summit can also be interpreted from another dimension - the confrontation between the military alliance based on the democratic camp and the alliance of authoritarian regimes.

Wu Qiang, an independent commentator, said, "NATO is forming a military alliance based on the democratic camp. It is going beyond the transatlantic scope and is beginning to set itself as a military alliance of the democratic camp."

These new changes in NATO are undoubtedly based on a pre-judgment of what may happen in China in the future. “After this fall, there may be an extension of individual regimes that will continue this highly authoritarian development. This is also Beijing’s response to the existing international order over the past decade through the Belt and Road Initiative, through an expansive global strategy. As evidenced by change and threats".

Wu Qiang said in an interview, "Since World CONCEPT II, we will see the emergence of a new democratic military alliance, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. NATO has listed China as a challenge, and it has become a new symbol. ".

Other Important Issues:

The NATO summit also has many important agendas on the military front. For example, the size of NATO's rapid reaction force will be expanded from 40,000 to 300,000. There is also a package of " enhanced integrated assistance" for Ukraine, including the provision of encrypted communications equipment and military equipment such as anti-drone systems to Ukraine.

NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg said on Monday that in the long run, NATO allies hope to help Ukraine's defense forces complete the transformation from " Soviet-era equipment" to " modern NATO equipment."

In addition, NATO will significantly increase its defenses on the eastern side, which is close to Russia and Belarus. NATO has committed to deploying heavy equipment, including tanks and artillery, in these areas. NATO is currently "pre-allocating" forces to defend specific allies.

Turkey's change in attitude towards Sweden and Finland's accession to NATO is also one of the outcomes of the NATO summit.

On Tuesday afternoon, hours-long four-way talks between NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg, Swedish Prime Minister Andreessen, Finnish President Niinisto, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan culminated in an agreement.

But the agreement itself has not been made public. According to Swedish Prime Minister Andersen, the agreement deals with how countries will work on common security and combating terrorism. Turkey has previously accused Sweden and Finland of being too soft on Kurdish terrorism. The agreement also mentions the issue of arms exports. Sweden and Finland have been imposing arms embargoes on Turkey as a result of Turkey's military operations in Syria in 2019.

Moscow responded on Wednesday to Sweden and Finland joining NATO. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said: "The NATO summit in Madrid confirmed and consolidated the bloc's policy of active containment towards Russia, ... we consider the expansion of the North Atlantic alliance to be a pure form of international affairs. factors of instability”.

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