Global Times
June 29, 2022

Kishida, Yoon debut at NATO, casting shadow on Asian peace

For the first time in history, leaders of Japan and South Korea joined the NATO Summit in Madrid on Wednesday to express their interest in underpinning a security alliance with the US’ Western allies, following an “unprecedented” tough stance against China in a joint statement released after the G7 leaders’ meeting wrapped up in Germany on Tuesday.


China is closely paying attention to the three-way summit between US, Japan and South Korea on the sidelines of the summit, in which the Korean Peninsula issue will be discussed along with NATO’s Asia expansion against China.

As for China’s two neighbor, Chinese experts warned that guiding the way for the US-led NATO into Asia-Pacific at the expense of diminished diplomatic autonomy will not serve economic and security interests in the long run, and will no doubt exacerbate regional confrontation and division.

Citing a government official, the Yonhap News Agency reported Tuesday that South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol will pledge to start a new cooperation program with NATO in the second half of 2022 and will set up a mission to NATO in Brussels.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Sunday at the G7 Summit that the group should form a united front to prevent other countries “drawing the wrong lessons,” from the Ukraine crisis, a veiled shot at China, the Japan Times reported.

[T]he NATO Summit was described by some Western media as an occasion to embrace confrontation with China, after NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg recently said the summit would directly address China for the first time, not just Russia. Earlier this month, US national security advisor Jake Sullivan said China “will feature in the communiqué in a more robust way than we’ve ever seen before,” the Guardian reported.


Wang Yiwei, director of the Institute of International Affairs at the Renmin University of China, told the Global Times on Wednesday that as some Europe countries are gradually adopting a mindset of confrontation, the so-called unity within allies is offensive and aggressive to others.


The US is turning globalization into a bloc-oriented globalization, Wang said. He explained that in the economy and supply chains, the US emphasizes so-called resilience, safety, autonomy and control, and in the security sphere, security with allies to counter “China and Russia’s threats” is stressed.

The Asianization of NATO is the US’ way to reintegrate its alliances in Asia, which used to be a “hub-and-spoke” system centered on the US, but now it wants to strengthen intelligence and science and technology cooperation within allies, Wang said.

There is nothing new with the cliché rhetoric of the G7, behind which is the intention of escalating the situation and offering excuses for NATO’s Asia expansion at the NATO Summit, Da Zhigang, director of the Institute of Northeast Asian Studies at the Heilongjiang Provincial Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

NATO’s Asia expansion is the ultimate goal of Tokyo and Seoul, as the two are betting that after the Russia-Ukraine conflict, collective security defense would become “mainstream” under the US’ peddling, Da said.


Japan and South Korea, in their first appearance at NATO, seemed to have lost their independence by courting the Americans too much, and only they themselves know whether the two Asian heads of state are getting enough respect after flying long hours to boost support for US President Joe Biden, a Beijing-based expert told the Global Times on condition of anonymity.