The U.S. Indo-Pacific strategy is as “dangerous” as NATO’s eastward expansion in Europe that resulted in a Russian military offensive against Ukraine, a senior Chinese diplomat said.
“With the breakup of the Soviet Union, NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) should be included in history alongside the Warsaw Pact,” Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng said while speaking at the International Forum on Security and Strategy organized by the International Center. Tsinghua University Security and Strategy on Saturday.
“Yet, instead of splitting, NATO continues to strengthen and grow. One can expect the consequences that will occur on this path. The crisis in Ukraine is a stern warning,” he said.
Chinese officials said NATO’s plans to recognize Kyiv increased Russian insecurity that resulted in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military action against Ukraine. Since Russia began military operations in Ukraine last month, China, a close ally of Moscow, has drawn a fine line, refusing to condemn it as aggression.
“All parties need to jointly support Russia and Ukraine in holding dialogues and negotiations that will produce results and lead to peace,” Le said.
“One should not seek one’s own absolute safety,” said Le, a former Chinese ambassador to India and widely expected to replace current Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in this year’s leadership reshuffle.
“Given that NATO made a promise at the time, it should not have broken its word and continued to push its borders to the east. The pursuit of absolute security actually leads to absolute insecurity,” he said.
“Fighting the trend to pursue an Indo-Pacific strategy, creating problems, forming closed and exclusive circles or small groups, and moving the region towards bloc-based fragmentation and division is just as dangerous as NATO’s strategy for eastward expansion in Europe,” he said. said Le.
“If left unchecked, it will have unimaginable consequences, and ultimately push the Asia-Pacific to the brink of the abyss,” he said.
“We in Asia must keep the future firmly in our own hands, pursue an independent, balanced and prudent foreign policy, and find strength through unity in the Asia-Pacific regional integration process,” Le said, according to a published speech. on the Chinese Foreign Ministry website.
As the US Indo-Pacific strategy gained traction, China has stepped up its attacks mainly on the Quad formation consisting of the US, India, Japan, Australia, saying the group is similar to NATO Asia.
Earlier this month, Wang Yi in his annual press conference said Washington was working to create NATO Asia to “suppress” Beijing.
“The real goal for the Indo-Pacific strategy is to create an Indo-Pacific version of NATO,” Wang said.
Earlier, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar had dismissed the notion that Quad was NATO Asia and said that there were “stakeholders” advancing such an analogy and one should not slip into it.
“Quad is a group of four countries with common interests, common values, great comforts, which happen to be located in the four corners of the Indo-Pacific, which found that in this world no country, not even the US., Has the capacity to address global challenges on its own, Jaishankar said at a panel discussion at the Munich Security Conference (MSC) 2022 in Munich last month. “I would urge you not to slip into a lazy analogy like Asia-NATO. It’s not because there are three treaty allies. We’re not treaty allies. It doesn’t have an agreement, a structure, a secretariat, it’s kind of a 21st century way to respond to a more diverse and dispersed world, ”he said of the Quad group.
In November 2017, India, Japan, the US and Australia formulated a long-delayed Quad establishment proposal to develop a new strategy to ensure critical sea routes in the Indo-Pacific are free from any influence, amid China’s military escalation. presence in the region.
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