Pompeo Seeks 'Asian NATO' To Counter China In Talks With Japan, India & Australia

Amid Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's trip to Tokyo this week where he's meeting with representatives from Japan, India, and Australia, he and top State State Department officials are actually floating plans for a NATO-type anti-China alliance in Asia.

Beijing sees this as 'shots fired across the bow' from within the heart of its sphere of influence, given these very nations are so reliant on China for trade.

As partners in this Quad, it is more critical now than ever that we collaborate to protect our people and partners from the CCP’s exploitation, corruption and coercion,” Pompeo said Tuesday referring to China's ruling communists. “We see it in the South and East China Seas, the Mekong, the Himalayas, the Taiwan Strait.”

Pompeo in Tokyo, via Reuters

He later added while speaking to Japan’s Nikkei newspaper:

“Once we’ve institutionalized what we’re doing - the four of us together - we can begin to build out a true security framework,” Pompeo told the Nikkei, suggesting other countries could be added to that “fabric” at “the appropriate time.”

The US has already over the past months been shoring up international support for such an "Asian NATO" as it's being provocatively called:

China’s growing military prowess and increasingly aggressive foreign policy have revived talk among U.S. and European officials of creating an “Asian NATO” of regional powers to contain communist Beijing’s expansionist ambitions.

Past efforts for an East Asian security alliance, such as the post-World War II Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) to guard against Cold War-era communism, failed to gain lasting traction.

But such an initiative will no doubt prove much easier said than done, given last year Australia's number one trade partner where it exported the majority of its goods was China.

Also the number two destination for Japanese exports is China, while China is also India's third top customer, according to IMF figures.

However, US allies in the region do seem to be on board in identifying China's growing military might and expansionist vision as a global economic powerhouse as a major long term threat.