How to cite: Yi, S. X. & Yang, C. (2023). China-NATO relations: history and reality. BRIQ Belt & Road Initiative Quarterly, 4(3), 26-37.


Over the past 70 years, the relationship between China and NATO has undergone the following stages: isolation and hostility (1949-1972), strategic collaboration (1972-1989), political opponents (from 1989 to early 21st century), and engagement and dialogue (2002-2020). After the Cold War, NATO continued to develop towards globalization. Its policies and actions gradually extended from the Euro-Atlantic region to the Middle East, Central Asia, and Asia Pacific, intervening in Asian affairs. With the United States’ strategic contraction from the Middle East and withdrawal from Afghanistan, the “Asian version of NATO” has become a tool created by the United States to curb China’s rise. However, EU countries, India, ASEAN, Japan, and others may not necessarily remain united with the United States. China will continue to develop itself, but at the same time, it will also maintain cautious contact, dialogue, and cooperation with NATO.

Keywords: China, great power competition, NATO, United States, Asia version of NATO