The just concluded G-7 and NATO summits in Europe elevated western concerns over China as a growing geostrategic threat. Unsurprisingly, the Russian Federation was the focus of this updated threat assessment in light of the unprovoked carnage of its war with Ukraine. However, China was also cited in NATO’s new “Strategic Concept” for its ambitions and “coercive policies” that challenge allies’ interests. No mention was made of the new unlimited partnership between Russia and China as an added element of that threat, a concern underscored in Accidental Conflict. But the Biden Administration sounded a warning by adding five additional Chinese companies to its “entity list” of blacklisted enterprises to protest their assistance to Russian military efforts. Predictably, China has registered strong protests to these actions. As I have argued in Project Syndicate, by refusing to condemn Russia’s military aggression and by siding against NATO expansion, China is walking a very fine line, increasingly risking “guilt by association” with its new unlimited Russian partner.
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