NATO's latest summit took place within the framework of the US 'back' to the international system.

The period of Trump's accusations of allies and NATO is over, Biden's new foreign policy based on coordinating allies has increased the full-field pressure on China.

Before the summit, Biden declared that NATO's collective defense of Europe, Turkey and Canada is a "sacred obligation" and underlined the need to act together.

Although the NATO Communiqué described "Russia's aggressive actions as a threat to Euro-Atlantic security," its most important warning for the future was the systemic threats posed by China.

The following statement in Article 55 of the NATO Communiqué draws attention:

"China's ambitions and assertive behavior present systematic challenges to the rules-based international order and areas relevant to Alliance security."

However, in the place of the communique (10), there are assessments about China. Above all, it highlights the expansion of China's nuclear arsenal, the details of its military modernization, and the problems about uncertainty.

On the other hand, the sentence "There is no new cold war with China", which NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg said before the summit, can be read as an effort to alleviate the impact of the communique.

Stoltenberg's effort stems from the fact that European countries have different views about China. While the US wants to see NATO by its side in full-field pressure against China, some countries led by Germany argue that a methodical discussion is necessary for the struggle against China.

It is a fact that Europe has not been able to optimize its relations with China for a long time. The increasing dependence on China and Russia in the economy and energy fields increases the uncertainty of the gaps in the security field.

While the perception of a Brussels-based 'China threat' is bubbling, there is a new situation that others do not fully agree with. Therefore, with this communique, while China is accepted as a threat, the issue of how to struggle with this threat is left unclear for now.

This is how the sentence “There is no new cold war with China” can be read. As an uneasy dilemma of an unstable Europe.

In conclusion, the issue that China poses a challenge to the system has passed into the NATO communique. The priority order may not have changed. Russia is still the primary threat to NATO, but the projection seems to be toward Asia.

The fact that NATO defines both China and Russia as the primary threat here may bring along both capacity and strategy problems.

However, NATO may need to focus on deepening Sino-Russian relations increasingly (especially in the military field) in the new period. This issue is included in article 55 of the communique with one sentence: "It is also cooperating militarily with Russia, including through participation in Russian exercises in the Euro-Atlantic area."

In a recent interview, Putin emphasized that China is not a threat to Russia, but a strategic partner, and harshly criticized the efforts of the two countries to break the relationship.

In all this systemic turmoil, NATO seems to be looking for a logical, real position that does not contradict its founding principles. In the previously published papers, the Chinese bet was first featured at the summit in 2019 and described as “China is a strategic challenge”.

Note that in the papers published two years apart, the scale of definition went from a strategic challenge to a 'systemic challenge'.

In this regard, NATO might approach QUAD-style security organizations specific to the Asia-Pacific?

It's an important question. It is possible to say that QUAD, which is defined as the Asian NATO, would be pleased with such support.

I think it is one of the issues that should be followed carefully these days when the US is passionately underlining alliances.

Meanwhile, especially the Chinese side reacts strongly to the theory of the China threat put forward by the Western side, which has become a vigilant under the leadership of NATO and calls on NATO to look at China's development logically.

The spokesperson for the China EU Mission also underlines that this approach of NATO is a continuation of the "Cold War mentality and the psychology of 'bloc politics'.

The spokesperson also adds:

"We will not present a 'systemic challenge' to anyone, but we will not sit idly by if someone wants to 'systematic challenge us'."

I think it is more convenient to read NATO's attitude toward China within the framework of the US-China rivalry. While the 'West' led by the US has directed its projection toward the Asia-Pacific, China is approaching Russia a little more.

While this situation paves the road to a new cold war with "unclear intentions", it causes alternative perspectives for the global order to intensify in an anti-Western context.