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US move destabilizes, agitates

Ukrainians and Europeans net victims of Washington strategy, experts say

Editor’s note: As Feb 24 marks the one-year anniversary of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine, China Daily is reviewing how it has reshaped geopolitics, impacted the global economy and aggravated the energy crisis.

Provocative action by the United States in the Asia-Pacific region and meddling by it and NATO in eastern Asia threaten regional stability as well as Asian and global economic growth and social development, analysts say.

Measures taken by the US and some of its NATO allies such as the United Kingdom and Canada in their so-called “Indo-Pacific strategy” are creating instability in the region, including leading Japan and South Korea on a path of militarism, with more frequent joint drills, the analysts said.

Karori Singh, emeritus fellow and former director of the South Asia Studies Center at the University of Rajasthan in Jaipur, India, said one manifestation of this is multilayered alliances, such as the Five Eyes, which groups the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, and the more recently established AUKUS, comprising Australia, the UK and the US. Another recently formed group, the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, commonly known as the Quad, consists of Australia, India, Japan and the US. One aim of the Quad and NATO is to involve Japan and South Korea in military programs, Singh said.

In addition, AUKUS is trying to lure Pacific island countries with the offer of development and security aid, he said. “In reality, the search for regional security and development through such measures is bound to breed insecurity and restrict development.”

Even some US allies are unhappy with what is going on, Singh said.

“Recent Nord Stream revelations are an alarm bell for the Europeans,” he said, referring to allegations by the US investigative journalist Seymour Hersh that the US had had a hand in explosions in the Nord Stream gas pipelines in September.

Ukrainians and Europeans are “the net victims of US strategy”, Singh said.

Moreover, demonstrations in Paris and Berlin in recent days and in Washington earlier represent “rage against the war machine” and show that people in the West are against US policies, he said.

Yoichi Komori, an emeritus professor at the University of Tokyo, said the US and NATO are using Japan as a shield in case of conflict. “It’s very dangerous for Japan to give full play to its Self-Defense Forces in East Asia, which is also contrary to Article 9 of Japan’s Constitution. We, the people, must not allow it.”

Shakeel Ahmad Ramay, chief executive of the Asian Institute of Eco-civilization Research and Development in Islamabad, Pakistan, said the peaceful rise of China is a constant irritant for the US and its allies.

“After some failures including ‘debt trap’ accusations, they have reverted back to the alliance building mentality of the Cold War era,” he said.

The US had persuaded Japan to depart from its post-World War II policy of defense, he said. Then the US extended defense measures with the Philippines, including opening four new bases close and upgrading others.

Shigeki Nagayama, a professor of law at Tokai University in Tokyo, said: “The Japanese government has invited NATO to get involved in the Asia-Pacific region to enhance its own defense capability, and that will only destabilize the region.”

Kazuyuki Hamada, president of the Research Institute for Future Technologies in Tokyo, and former parliamentary vice-minister for foreign affairs, said Japan’s proposal for “an Asian NATO” or “a global NATO” runs counter to the zeitgeist.

“Japan’s advocacy and the realization of it is nothing more than going against the post-Cold War era. This unnecessarily intensifies the arms race and reduces the value of diplomacy.”

Mustafa Hyder Sayed, executive director of the Pakistan-China Institute in Islamabad, said the consistent pattern of the US seeking to create an Asian copy of NATO reflects the objectives in the NATO 2030 agenda that the military alliance published earlier.

However, such a Cold War mentality threatens regional stability and the development of the Asia-Pacific, the world’s most robust growth engine, he said. “The hegemony of the US and its allies cannot continue to prevail in the post-pandemic world order, where collective wisdom, cooperation and connectivity is required to build bridges rather than create walls between countries.”

The US and its allies must try to understand that China seeks peaceful coexistence, is integrated deeply in global development, and is the chief engine of world growth through programs such as the Belt and Road Initiative and the Global Security Initiative, Ramay said. “The US and its allies should say goodbye to their hegemonic, confrontational and Cold War mentality.”

source: chinadaily