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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

France Stands against Nato’s Proposal For Liaison Office in Japan, States Official

Stoltenberg stated that it is important for Nato allies to strengthen their partnership with Indo-Pacific partners

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JAPAN: Nato has been rumoured to establish its first headquarters in Asia in Tokyo, but France is not excited about the idea. The combined patrols by the Russian and Chinese armies over the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea highlighted the growing military cooperation between Beijing and Moscow in the Asia-Pacific.

The patrols started in 2019, before the current conflict in Ukraine and before Beijing and Moscow announced their “no-limits” alliance, are the result of long-growing bilateral ties based on a shared perception of threat from the US and other military alliances. 

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France is reportedly reluctant to endorse anything that escalates tensions between the alliance and China, despite requests for Nato to collaborate more closely with partners in north-east Asia. Article V and Article VI in Nato’s statutes limit the scope to the North Atlantic, a French official said.

Nato has no liaison office in the region, but embassies designated as points of contact can be used for situational awareness. Hirokazu Matsuno, head of the Japanese government’s press office, did not comment on the alleged statements made by Macron but noted that “various considerations” were being made inside Nato.

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A Japanese news agency reported that opening an office in Japan would require the North Atlantic Council’s majority consent, but France may use its veto to thwart the initiative. This has sparked an angry response from Beijing, who responded by saying that Asia lies beyond the geographical scope of the North Atlantic.

Nato has been perceived as determined to move eastward into the region, meddling in local affairs and igniting bloc conflict, as per a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson. He advised Japan to “make the right decision” and desist from taking any actions that could jeopardise the region’s peace and stability. 

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Nato is trying to define its mission in the face of China and help Ukraine against the Russian invasion, which was first created to counter the Communist bloc during the Soviet period.

Stoltenberg stated that it is important for Nato allies to strengthen their partnership with Indo-Pacific partners. He mentioned a request for a Nato liaison office, but Macron opposed the idea, saying it would be a “big mistake” to broaden Nato’s geographic scope.

French authorities are dissatisfied that the matter was reported in the media before consultations among Nato members. Following a state visit to China, Macron controversially said Europe should avoid becoming involved in tensions between China and the US over Taiwan.

Also Read: EU Summoned by France to List Wagner as “Terrorists”, UK Paying Heed

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