Categories: kazi mahmood

America’s Obsession With China: A New SATO?

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The united States has an obsession with China. Either it is to start a quarrel with the Chinese giant, or it is about protecting its investment in the indo-pacific region.

But one thing is for sure. America is afraid of China and it is showing it with President Joe Biden’s lengthy accolades in Europe.

However, the message from the Biden’s European visit is clear: Nato and Indo China are priorities.

For former President Donald Trump, none were a priority. He killed the Trans-Pacific Partnership to shreds within days after he took office. He killed President’s Barack Obama’s Asian Pivot as if it was nothing. And America lived with it as if it was nothing.

What was the consequence of America’s abandonment of the Asean region? The Chinese conquered the South China Sea? It was already a done deal under the Obama administration. The US under Trump could not restore America’s authority in that area.

NEW ASIAN PIVOT?

The Financial Times says it: Biden’s visit to Europe had more to do with the Indo-Pacific than the Atlantic.

Nevertheless, China has taken more than the South China Sea from America in the region. It won influence in Asean and will soon overtake the US in war maritime capacity. The US is aware that it will be defeated in this sphere if it engages in a military conflict against Beijing.

Thus a new Asian Pivot is in the making with the help of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QSD, also known as the Quad) a strategic dialogue between the United StatesJapanAustralia and India.

The aim is to contain China, beef-up the economy and security of the Japanese, Aussies and Indians.

The Indo-Pacific area connects three continents and is fast emerging as the most important geopolitical region in the world. Asia is obviously the prize for the US. China is the ogre. Though China may be a fundraiser for Biden’s son Hunter, there is enough pressure in the US for Biden to support an anti-China strategy.

NATO ALLIANCE

The United States, with the Quad will not be able to fight or contain China militarily. It will also not succeed in fighting China in trade wars because Biden does not have the guts that Trump has.

What is left is a linkage between the Indo-Pacific security needs and the need for Nato to secure a new ‘enemy’. This is necessary for both America and Europe, with their allies in Asia, to build an imaginary front line against China.

We always take it for granted that Nato will inevitably get involved in a military situation in Asia. This is not a fact. Nato’s main role is to defend Europe, not Asia. There is no talk of an Asian Nato, or SATO a so-called South Asia Treaty? Not the SEATO, Please!

But this too is dead. The Western world does not trust the military power of its Asian allies, not that the soldiers cannot fight but that the generals are not keen and the politicians are not always pro-America.

Hence, Biden’s salvation as the president who can contain China’s inevitable rise is a military alliance that may involve Nato deploying its troops on Asian territory.

Will this ever happen? China’s rise is formidable. To contain it, if one wants to, is either to join it or fight it with unconventional means. For Biden, it will be the cosying of the Europeans to the idea.

And if this is to happen, it will surely take into consideration the concerns and worries of the Aussies, Japanese and Indians.

#nato #biden #china

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Kazi Mahmood

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