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Region should beware zombie’s apocalypse now: China Daily editorial | Updated: 2022-11-15 20:46
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Staff members work at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, March 24, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

As a relic of the Cold War, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization should long ago have been laid to rest. Yet despite the more temperate times that followed the disintegration of the Soviet Union, it was kept animated by ideological summoners on both sides of the Atlantic who claimed that it still had a role to play.

Thus in the guise of a peacemaker, it was sent to meddle in various regional and international affairs. In recent years, with the incantation of the noble trinity — "human rights, democracy and peace" — ringing in its ears, it has compounded the suffering in Syria, Afghanistan, Libya and former Yugoslavia.

NATO's relentless stretching of its legs eastward has also been the reason for the ongoing Ukraine conflict as it totally ignored Russia's legitimate security concerns, pushing it into a corner.

And say what you like about the Joe Biden administration, but its powers of necromancy are undeniable. It has transformed what was acknowledged to be a brain dead alliance into a blood-lusting zombie, which, while still brainless, is malleable to manipulation by presenting it with a virtualized reality in which the Cold War has never ended.

The upshot, as Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov noted during a news conference at the conclusion of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on Sunday, is that NATO is no longer a purely defensive alliance as intended. Indeed, it no longer claims to be.

Following the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the other NATO countries lost no time in joining the US in fanning the flames of the conflict by providing Ukraine with funds and weapons, turning the hostilities into a proxy war for NATO. And Lavrov warned that NATO, not content with the chaos it has wrought so far, now has its eyes set on Southeast Asia.

Instead of acknowledging the widespread harmful consequences of their actions in Europe, which are many, the leaders of the NATO states have chosen to view their actions through bourbon-tinted glasses and heady from their excess are enthusiastically encouraging the US' Asia-Pacific allies to join their revelry. By breathing new life into the US' old alliances with countries in the region such as Japan and Australia, and forcing others in the region to take sides in the US-instigated endeavor to contain China's rise and development, NATO is clearly set to extend its troublemaking to the Asia-Pacific region.

The essence of the US' "Indo-Pacific strategy" is to revive the Cold War tactic of bloc-to-bloc confrontation and zero-sum games in the region and by means of a bloated and battle-hungry NATO impose its will on the region.

Given NATO's notorious history in meddling in regional affairs plus its defiance of international law and penchant for selfish gains at the expense of other's security interests, allowing NATO to gain a foothold in the Asia-Pacific would spell calamity for the region.

Through the hard work and concerted efforts of regional countries, the Asia-Pacific has become one of the most peaceful and stable regions in the world. The attempt to conjure NATO or a doppelganger into the region should be rejected by the regional countries.

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