Up to Russia, China to avoid a Nato in Asia

If, indeed, an Asian Nato is in the offing in the form of the Quad, it would do no more than reflect the emergence of a Russo-Chinese alliance.

US President Joe Biden (left) attending a virtual Quadrilateral Security Dialogue meeting with leaders of Japan, India and Australia in March. The spectre of an Asian version of Nato is predicated on the Quad, says the writer. The Chinese and the Russians fear that the Quad represents the incipient formation of an Asian Nato meant to contest, constrain or contain them. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG
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Professor Kishore Mahbubani argued in these pages recently against Asia importing the "disastrous militaristic culture" of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato), which "would like to expand its tentacles beyond the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean". East Asia has enjoyed three decades of peace following the end of the Cold War, he observed, a period in which parts of Europe and the Middle East have suffered from Nato intervention.

While the observations by the respected scholar-diplomat are not incorrect, the unwanted expansion of Nato needs to be viewed in broader terms.

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