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  • US aiming for NATO-like alliance with India, Australia, Japan to counter China

    US aiming for NATO-like alliance with India, Australia, Japan to counter China

    The United States seeks to formalise its closer defence ties with countries of the India-Pacific region — India, Japan and Australia — similar to something like the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) with an aim to counter China, US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun said on Monday.

    H/T: The Economic Times

    "The Indo-Pacific region is actually lacking in strong multilateral structures. They do not have anything of the fortitude of NATO or the European Union. The strongest institutions in Asia oftentimes are not, I think, not inclusive enough and so ... there is certainly an invitation there at some point to formalise a structure like this," Biegun said.

    "Starting with the Quad, starting with just the four might be a very important start, and it’s something that I think in the second term of the Trump administration or, were the President not to win, the first term of the next president, it could be something that would be very much worthwhile to be explored. I’d just be very careful to not define it solely as an initiative to contain or to defend against China. I don’t think that’s enough. And then second, I would be careful not to be too ambitious in that as well. I’ve heard – I’ve heard loose talk about an Indo-Pacific NATO and so on. But remember, even NATO started with relatively modest expectations and a number of countries chose neutrality over NATO membership in post-World War II Europe. The original NATO North Atlantic alliance only had 12 members relative to its 27 today. So you can start a little bit smaller and grow into your membership. But remember, even NATO started with relatively modest expectations and a number of countries (initially) chose neutrality over NATO membership."

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