“If . . . we push NATO to enlarge the spectrum and the geography, we will make a big mistake, Macron said at a conference last week as he opposed the military alliance’s plan to expand its reach beyond the north Atlantic, the UK-based Financial Times reported on June 5, citing eight people familiar with the situation.
According to the British daily, talks have been ongoing with NATO over the past months to open a small base in the Japanese capital Tokyo next year, with the US and Japan demanding Europe become more involved in Asia security issues, amid what Western states see as a growing military threat by China against Taiwan.
However, France’s resistance has hampered those efforts, as the country is reluctant to support anything that “contributes to NATO-China tension”.
Macron has already angered the United States and other allies when he suggested during his visit to China in early April that Europe should distance itself from Washington-Beijing tensions over Taiwan.
According to a Japanese official, the country is willing to strengthen relations with NATO as well. If opened, a NATO office in Tokyo would be the first outpost by the western military alliance in the Indo-Pacific region.
However, France could stop the move as NATO’s highest political decision-making body requires unanimous support for any plan to set up a new office.