China tells UN expansion of Nato, or a Nato-like body, into the Asia-Pacific will stir up conflict


A senior Chinese diplomat has warned that the Asia-Pacific region would face turmoil and conflict if Nato was extended there.

China’s envoy to the United Nations, Zhang Jun, said Nato had caused trouble “in different parts of the world”, and should learn a lesson from the ongoing Ukraine war.

“Nato’s five eastward expansions after the Cold War have not only failed to make Europe securer, but also sowed the seed of conflict,” Zhang said in a UN Security Council briefing on Ukraine on Tuesday.

Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team.

“The kind of turmoil and conflict that are affecting parts of the world must not be allowed to happen in the Asia-Pacific.”

Zhang was speaking while Nato met in Madrid where the bloc is expected to release an updated strategic concept to replace the version adopted in 2010.

“The strategic concept described Russia as a strategic partner and did not refer to China,” US national security adviser Jake Sullivan said. This one “will speak very directly and in a clear-eyed way to the multifaceted challenge posed by the People’s Republic of China”.

Sullivan also said Washington wanted China to pressure Russia into ending the war in Ukraine. There was little evidence China was supporting Russia militarily or was violating sanctions imposed on Moscow after its invasion of Ukraine, but Sullivan said Beijing had to help stop the war.

“We believe that China cannot evade responsibility, given its relationship with Russia, for speaking more clearly to them,” he said.

Türkiye lifts its objections to Sweden, Finland joining Nato

Beijing is particularly concerned that Washington is building an Asian version of Nato as four partners in the region – Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea – attend the Nato meeting for the first time.

There will also be a summit between the leaders of South Korea, the United States and Japan on Wednesday.

Moscow has defended its invasion of Ukraine by citing Nato’s eastward expansion as the reason – a view shared by Beijing. But the US and Europe have denounced Russia’s move and imposed sanctions on Moscow.

Zhang said Nato should not use the Ukraine war to create “worldwide bloc confrontation or a new cold war”.

“And [do] not to look for imaginary enemies in the Asia-Pacific or artificially create contradictions and divisions,” he said. “We firmly oppose certain elements clamouring for Nato’s involvement in the Asia-Pacific, or an Asia-Pacific version of Nato on the back of military alliances.

China, Nato and how the Ukraine war is spilling over into the Asia-Pacific

“Facts have fully borne out that sending weapons cannot bring about peace, nor can sanctions and pressurisation solve the security conundrum. Attempts to weaponise the world economy and to coerce other countries into taking sides will artificially divide the international community, and make the world even less secure,” Zhang said.

The US has strengthened its efforts to maintain relations with its regional alliances during the Biden administration, including reaching a deal with Britain to help Australia build a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines and the Quad alliance, of which Australia, Japan and India are members.

More from South China Morning Post:

For the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2022.

Article type: free
User access status:
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

SCMP , China , US , Nato , Expansion

   

Next In Aseanplus News

Bangkok, 10 provinces placed on alert as Chao Phraya River rises
Shake-up fails to lift support for Japan's cabinet amid questions over church: surveys
Property developers in China's Hefei urge curb on 'malicious protests'
Laos launches study on maritime project
Indonesians must prepare for a potential fuel price hike: minister
Same-sex union Bill filed in predominantly Catholic Philippines
Hun Sen warns public about fake Telegram account
Indian, Pakistani siblings reunite 75 years after Partition
Army major arrested for killing student in Vietnam traffic accident
Look up! Saturn to be at its closest on Aug 15

Others Also Read