Zhang Zhaozhong: “Asian NATO” looming


reception report

Reception Report: China National Radio, October 14/15, 2010


This post’s first paragraph refers to a radio broadcast and therefore contains no link to the source.

Zhang Zhaozhong (张召忠 / Zhāng Zhàozhōng), a professor with the National Defense University (国防大学), said on China National Radio (CNR, 中国之声) this morning (03:00 h China local time) that while there was resentment among the South Korean common people against Japan’s participation in joint naval exercises, a feeling that there could be a common threat against both South Korea and Japan – be it from North Korea, be it from China -, could lead both countries to cooperate under American leadership nevertheless. Asked how it would influence China if naval exercises in China’s vicinity became some kind of routine in the future, Zhang replied that countries such as South Korea, Japan, and the U.S. could become some kind of Asian-Pacific NATO.

The interview was part of CNR’s coverage on naval drills near Busan, with a total of fourteen (South Korea Herald) or fifteen countries participating, either with military troops or through observers.

On October 5, Zhang told CCTV-4 that a small East Asian NATO had objectively come into existence between America, Japan, and South Korea.

Zhang Zhaozhong was more explicit about South Korean feelings in an interview on October 12, quoted from or conducted by Heilongjiang News Net (黑龙江新闻网):

For historical reasons, South Koreans hate Japan in particular, therefore, even though there are [bilateral] US-South Korean and US-Japanese alliances, there is no military alliance of all these three countries.

But in July this year, Japan had sent four officers to participate*) in US-South Korean military exercises (日本派了4名军官参加美韩军事演习), which constituted the first military exercise of all the three countries. Zhang Zhaozhong interpreted this as a signal, and as one that hadn’t met with other countries’ strong opposition, or with South Korean opposition.

The world had seen two spates of pacifism (和平主义), Zhang wrote earlier this year, on January 11: from 1918 to 1939, between the two world wars, and from the end of the cold war up to around 1991, when the Kosovo war broke out. People had cherished the time of peace after 1918, and neglected defense in favor of economic development, despite warnings to the contrary.

On March 24, 1993, given that there was no opposing alliance any more, such as the former USSR-led Warsaw Treaty, US-led NATO had brazenly sent troops into Yugoslavia. Only then the world understood that America hadn’t had any intention of putting down the butchers knife and to become a saint (经过那场战争,世界各国才突然明白过来,原来美国把拳头收回来的主要目的,并不是放下屠刀,立地成佛,而是为了更加有力地打出去。), and what had first appeared to be a demobilization [Bill Clinton‘s bottom-up review of 1993 – JR] had only increased America’s military capabilities.

Zhang’s conclusion in January:

Will Obama’s current wave of peace intermittences to a war with Iran? Imperialism just means war, and as long as America and NATO are there, war won’t disappear. Time will confirm it all, let’s wait and see.


*) The Japanese participants were apparently observers

Yellow Sea Updates: No War, no Stimulus, August 7, 2010

11 Responses to “Zhang Zhaozhong: “Asian NATO” looming”

  1. I don’t think Asian Nato is looming. But it’s OK. It’s his opinion. It seems to me that the aim of Zhang Zhaozhong’s article is to incite siege mentality among Chinese public by exaggerating a small possibility.


  2. Or a self-fulfilling prophecy – a siege mentality can only help to unite the people. Power within comes first…



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