China, the Indo-Pacific and NATO: Staying Relevant in a Shifting World Order
Jagannath P. Panda
Today, as the geopolitical tensions are heating up from the West across the East into the Indo-Pacific, the Cold War sentiments and terminology are getting a new lease of life across regions. Even as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) recognizes Russia as the “most significant and direct threat” to European security, it is China’s dynamic rise – from quiet to ultra-belligerent – that is challenging the US primacy, which it has held since the end of the Cold War ironically. The US-China rivalry has not only changed the geostrategic landscape but also fueled speculations about the return of an “iron curtain.” Concurrently, China’s convergence with authoritarian and quasi-authoritarian (but politically weak) states of Russia, North Korea, and Pakistan – all nuclear states – has only resurrected the sleeping devil. Particularly, the “limitless friendship” and consequent invasion of Ukraine by its subordinate partner Russia in early 2022 has prompted the solidification of the “New Cold War” (or Cold War 2.0) narrative.
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