Gramsci observed years ago that we are approaching an interregnum without a hegemon, in which "the old system begins to die, but a new order cannot be formed."

This is a "global interregnum age." This is a transitional time in which we are trapped between the modern and postmodern eras. In terms of global hegemony, we may call it a "power transition moment."

Individualism, rationalization (rationalism), and faith in the future (progress), all stressed in defining the modernist age from Weber to Foucault, began to transform.

The notion of the individual has given way to the concept of "we." Rationalism, on the other hand, began to take on an emotional dimension. Minds are incoherent and unsettled. It is plausible to argue that throughout this time, the unwavering conviction in progress has given way to doubt, and a generation that believes in the "now" has formed.

I do not want to fall into trap of "overinterpretation" while making important claims. As a result, I want to emphasize that the topics I've highlighted above are my opinions.

In this most fluid phase of history, during which we were stuck in a transition period, the competition for global hegemony began to emerge more and more. It would not be an exaggeration to argue that the competition between the United States and China, which began as a "undercurrent," has now escalated into a power struggle.

In this power struggle, the United States attempts to establish an organized counter-hegemony zone that includes its allies. We are witnessing the resurgence of alliances such as NATO, which had been dormant for many years following the danger posed by the USSR.

In this perspective, it is vital to "deconstruct" NATO's recently revealed strategic concept. As Derrida has exhaustively pointed out, deconstruction is a vital endeavor to make sense of how a text is created and which patterns of meaning are there.

In this post, I shall undertake such a work through the strategic text issued following the NATO summit in Madrid, Spain, on June 28-29, 2022.

Because of the Ukraine conflict, the text inevitably concentrates on Russia. Nevertheless, I will concentrate on China's long-term details in the text.

The strategic concept, updated every ten years, offers key data concerning NATO's road plan. According to the study, China poses a "systemic challenge" to the current international order.

According to the text, China's aspirations and practices endanger the alliance's security, interests, and values. A military, political, and economic assessment was done here. The most significant factor in this three-pronged review, in my opinion, is "values."

This argument about values holds the seeds of the new cold war fever. Furthermore, it is noted that this circumstance creates concerns by stressing the ambiguity of China's military buildup.

It is stated that China employs hybrid techniques, improves its cyber capabilities, and employs economic reliance as a weapon. Although NATO's proposal is an extreme view, it might be interpreted as proof that a power transfer has occurred.

The text's most crucial point is the growing strategic relationship between China and Russia. NATO believes that China and Russia are collaborating to undermine the rules-based international order, which is detrimental to the alliance's interests.

Indeed, China has begun to appear on the agenda of NATO summits held in the last two years. For the first time, China was identified as a "strategic threat" at the NATO summit in London on December 3-4, 2019.

China was portrayed as a global security risk at the 2020 summit, and there was a shift in NATO's danger perspective toward Asia. China was described as a "systemic challenge" in a statement issued after the 2020 summit.

Furthermore, in an important report that contributed to the strategic concept known as "NATO 2030: United for a New Age," it was stressed that China will become more significant systemically approaching 2030, and that NATO would need to build a "politically intense strategy" in this strategic environment.

Looking at recent events, it is reasonable to argue that there was doubt about China's strategy among European countries before Russia's war with Ukraine.

In truth, it has not been long since Macron declared NATO to be brain dead.

However, Russia's intervention in Ukraine and "limitless" engagement with China galvanized NATO-scale Atlantic line consolidation. China's unclear position on the Ukraine situation and its perceived pro-Russian stance appears to have resulted in a realignment of the Atlantic line.

In conclusion, the official adoption of the Madrid summit's "systemic challenge" approach into the strategic concept is critical for NATO's strategic route for the next ten years.

The term "systemic challenge" refers to China's resistance to the current international order. Russia is in the same boat. They do not fail to include a notion they refer to in passing as a "fair multipolar world order."

NATO wants a logical and historical place within the international system, with a multipolar structure as a goal. On the Atlantic side, there is growing consensus that China is the best threat for this position.

In this framework, NATO is likely to approach nations surrounding China, such as Japan, South Korea, India, and Australia. It is also worth noting that the countries in issue (except for India) attended the recent Madrid summit.

An important question is how NATO will embody and coordinate this tendency, despite claiming in their recently released strategic concept that they would "continue to be the stronghold of the rules-based international order and preserve a global outlook."

Another issue will be the equitable distribution of obligations and risks among NATO members.

Some European countries will undoubtedly focus on this problem.

NATO's efforts will not only nurture a new Cold War-like climate but also put in motion a momentum that will exacerbate the international system's demise.

Russia's military process, which began with the Ukraine war, is deepening.

NATO, a key player in global security, believes its security, interests, and values are under attack. In sum, NATO's strategic route ultimately leads to China.

To avoid being trapped in the depths of the global interregnum, humanity must "reinvent" ideas such as peace, tolerance, and security.

Dr.Hüseyin Korkmaz. The author is a researcher focusing on China and geopolitics in the Asia, primarily related to the US-China relations.