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Embrace of NATO in China’s Back Yard Stokes Xi’s Worst Fears

The leaders of Japan and South Korea are among those attending a summit of the military alliance for the first time. 

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NATO Aims to Label China a ‘Systemic Challenge’
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Ever since Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, China has blamed NATO for antagonizing Russia and accused the US of seeking to set up a similar alliance in the Asia-Pacific. The presence of four leaders from the region in Spain this week will only make Beijing more paranoid. 

For the first time, the leaders of Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand will all attend a summit of the 30-member North Atlantic Treaty Organization. At the meeting starting Tuesday in Madrid, the alliance is set to label China a “systemic challenge” in new policy guidelines for the coming decade, reflecting shifts in the geopolitical landscape as President Xi Jinping increasingly joins hands with Putin in opposition to the world’s democracies.