Photo: VCG

NATO’s 70th anniversary meeting is scheduled on Tuesday and Wednesday in London. Troubled by internal and external problems, the organization seems not in a mood to celebrate. The US-based Defense News even predicts that “politics could make the situation feel more like a funeral.”

The organization is already dragged by several internal disputes such as defense budgets, and is also frustrated by external challenges, including the Middle East situation. 

Even so, Washington still seemingly considers NATO not in enough trouble and has recently started to find the organization a new enemy – Beijing.

On November 20, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called for member states’ attention to the “current and potential long-term threat” posed by China at a NATO foreign ministerial meeting. 

A senior US administration official again said Friday that the China-posed challenges, including its “dominance of 5G telecommunications networks” is a “very, very high priority” and will be discussed by President Donald Trump with allies at the NATO summit. 

The US is building NATO as an ideology-based alliance aimed at containing China, with 5G as its major focus. 

During his European visit in September, US Defense Secretary Mark Esper urged NATO members to ban Chinese companies from their 5G networks. Similar statements have been made by quite a few US officials.

NATO has always been a tool utilized by Washington to support its own interests. The US is now attempting to draw other countries over to its side and pursue its strategic goal of keeping China down. 

Europe should not be fooled by US tricks. It is time for these member states to seriously consider the situations and make the right choice.

European nations are now faced with two options: blindly following the US or cooperating with China despite US preaching.

Taking sides with the US is not in line with Europe’s interests. Making this choice will only turn Europe, a significant world polar, into a US puppet. Is this a scenario the once strongest continent wants to see? And if European countries shut their door on China’s 5G technology, will they be able to bear the potential losses?

But recognizing the reality and cooperating with China will make a different story. In 2018, China was the second-largest partner for EU exports and the largest partner for EU imports. 

Future cooperation will only bring more benefits to both sides. It is possible that the US will create difficulties for China-Europe collaboration, but China is ready to make efforts to strengthen exchanges. 

Facing the two choices, those with discerning eyes can easily tell which to choose. “Is our enemy today Russia? Or China? Is it the goal of NATO to designate them as enemies? I don’t believe so.” French President Emmanuel Macron has already made this clear.

What good does making an enemy do? Targeting China is a doomed way, as breaking off cooperation with the world’s second-largest economy is like self-imposed isolation. Europe should think it over.