Finland's NATO membership deepens concerns over the bloc's expansion into Asia

15:43 13.04.2023 •

There is no doubt that when NATO's "strategic plague" spreads to Asia, its primary target is China, ‘Global Times’ stresses.

Finland's formal accession to NATO is an essential change in European geopolitics. Still, for China, the concern is not whether the world has one or two less neutral countries, but whether it will become a "refueling station" to strengthen NATO's expansion of its sphere of influence to the East.

The choice of Finland and Sweden to join NATO strengthens the West's sphere of influence, and its impact will not be limited to Europe. Recently Europe has once again begun to discuss whether or how Ukraine can be included in NATO.

Our concern is that such strengthening is leading the West to become more involved in Asia through the NATO military bloc, spreading the division caused by "power competition" to Asia like a contagious disease and forcing the Asian countries to choose sides.

It should not be forgotten that NATO is a predominantly Western military organization. Although it is ostensibly ‘a defensive organization’, it has had the ambition to expand globally from the beginning. After the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, NATO has been looking for a grip to extend its function of maintaining European order to the rest of the World.

There is no doubt that when NATO's "strategic plague" spreads to Asia, its primary target is China. In the NATO 2022 Strategic Concept document released in June last year, NATO pointed out that Russia is the "biggest and direct threat" and named China for the first time, saying that China poses a "systemic challenge" to NATO. The document also claimed that the situation in the "Indo-Pacific" region has a direct impact on Euro-Atlantic security.

Why do some senior NATO officials frequently warn China not to support Russia militarily and spread unsubstantiated assumptions against China? They seem to be wary and anxious that China will side with Russia militarily, but deep down some of them really want China to do it. That way, they can clearly set China up as an enemy and have a pretext to "enter" Asia.

One danger in Asia is that the sphere-based security structure that emerged from Western expansion could be implanted. Some Asian countries are also considering using NATO to balance China's power.

Since last year, relations between Japan, South Korea, and NATO have been heating up. The leaders of both countries participated in the NATO summit for the first time and joined the NATO-affiliated NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence one after another.

The cooperation between Japan, South Korea, and NATO is "moving from the virtual to the real," from traditional defense exchanges such as personnel visits and ship visits to deepening substantive military cooperation such as intelligence sharing, joint exercises, joint R&D of weapons and equipment, and expanding into non-traditional security areas such as cyber security, supply chains, and infrastructure.

Suppose Asia falls into the European security model. In that case, there will be no common security, but only balance by ganging up and building alliances, and the history of Europe shows that that balance will eventually be broken by contention or even war, ‘Global Times’ concludes.


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