NATO’s de facto war against Russia and China, which started in 2016 with the alliance’s visit to Warsaw and later overtly put forth with the issuing of the NATO 2030 document and the signing of the second Atlantic Charter between the US and the UK in 2021, is raging on with utmost intesition with utmost speed.
Russia’s failure to achieve results in Ukraine in a short period as it had hoped, and the primary actors of the European Union (EU) choosing to shape the European security environment in a manner that prioritizes the interests of the US instead of a process that also includes Russia, indicate that tensions will continue to climb.
It is well known that the main elements that are triggering actions against Russia and China are the UK and the US.
The US is in competition against Russia and China for global leadership.
Although its name is not overtly pronounced in these conversations, the UK, having left the EU which is struggling to form a military force of its own and having established a tight relationship with the US which also has a military aspect, is after securing long-term interests through this relationship. It is now one of the main actors that stand with the US in its fight for global leadership.
In this context, it is also known that the UK is a significant weapons exporter to Ukraine. In addition to this, according to some open source news reports, UK special forces are fighting Russia on the ground in Ukraine.1 The UK is also taking a leading role in Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership bid, through signing security pacts with both of the countries.
At the same time, the UK remains as one of the main players, and possibly the most important one, in the US’s strategy concerning the Indian Ocean and the Pacific.
This position of the UK calls for reading the country’s recent messages carefully, for it is clear that these messages not being part of a strategy coordinated with the US is nearly impossible.
In relation with this, British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has recently said the following:2
♦ China’s rise depends on playing by the rules (referring to the US-led system set up after WWII)
♦ That it needs to trade with G7 and that G7 represent half of the global trade and that they had shown (with Russia) what happens when international rules are violated
♦ NATO needs to have a global outlook that extends to democracies outside its membership, (citing Taiwan as an example).
♦ The West must ensure that democracies like Taiwan are able to defend themselves
♦ They need to pre-empt threats in the Indian Ocean and the adjacent parts of the Pacific ( referred to as Indo-Pacific by UK and US authorities), working with allies like Japan and Australia to ensure that the Pacific is protected. And she has also encouraged delivery of heavy weapons to Ukraine.3
Statements of the Foreign Secretary provide some clues as the the strategy that will be employed against China after Russia.
These indicate that a script similar to the one being played out in Ukraine will be used in China, through Taiwan.
China is called upon to play by the rules of the current establishment, and if not, what Russia is experiencing is a predictor of what China will have to face.
In response to this call to play by the rules, China has said NATO has messed up Europe and is now Nato of messing up Europe and stirring up conflicts in the Asia-Pacific region, and even in the entire world.4
This response actually shows that China is aware of the fact that it is next in line after Russia, through the situation with Taiwan.
China has refused to condemn the occupation of Ukraine by Russia, one of its closest allies, despite calls from the West to exert its influence on Moscow.
However, it should be understood that the issue here is not China’s position regarding the Ukrainian war, but rather, an outlook to block China in the global struggle for power.
But the pressure being formed on Russia through alliances and sanctions and as such, shrinking Russia’s room to maneuver and in turn pushing Russia further away from Europe and the East is preparing the grounds for the scenario that the Wset is most leery of.
Depending on China’s response, there is the risk that the tide which is in favor of the US and the UK in Europe and Pacific might turn.
2News report at Reuters.com titled Britain’s Truss tells China its rise depends on playing by the rules, published 28 April 2022
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