US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has highlighted the importance of cooperation between the NATO and key US allies such as South Korea in dealing with regional and global issues.
The call for unity among American allies comes amid growing competition between the US and China, Yonhap News Agency said in a report on Tuesday.
“Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke today with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to discuss the centrality of the Transatlantic bond and Alliance unity as NATO addresses existing and emerging global challenges,” the State Department said in a statement on Monday.
“Secretary Blinken and Secretary General Stoltenberg underscored the value of NATO’s partnerships with Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and the Republic of Korea,” it added, referring to South Korea by its official name.
The emphasis on cooperation between NATO and US allies in Asia comes amid U.S. efforts to maintain what it calls rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific.
The US also launched a new trilateral security initiative in the region last month with Australia and the UK that seeks to equip Australia with nuclear-powered submarines that many view as an attempt to counter China’s growing military presence there.
Washington has said the new trilateral initiative, called AUKUS, is not aimed at any specific country but at promoting the countries’ shared values and ensuring rules-based order in the region.