NATO's invitation to Anthony Albanese and other Indo-Pacific leaders to attend this week's conference in Madrid is further proof the rules based order put in place after World War II is under threat and international relations are at a critically low ebb.
The invitations reflected NATO's growing awareness of China's emergence as a threat to its own interests. It has been seen as NATO's response to the open-ended co-operation agreement struck by Beijing and Moscow in February.
In their joint statement at the time, presidents Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping said "Russia and China stand against attempts by external forces to undermine security and stability in their common adjacent regions, [and] intend to counter interference by outside forces in the internal affairs of sovereign countries under any pretext".
They went on to say: "The sides oppose further enlargement of NATO and call on the North Atlantic Alliance to abandon its ideologised cold war approaches, to respect the sovereignty, security and interests of other countries, the diversity of their civilizational, cultural and historical backgrounds, and to exercise a fair and objective attitude towards the peaceful development of other states".
It's little wonder then, given rhetoric such as this and Chinese's refusal to speak out against the Russian invasion of Ukraine despite officially recognising the beleaguered nation's sovereignty, that Beijing is now on NATO's radar.
And, when it comes to Chinese and Russian objections to NATO, their statements and actions have had the opposite effect with one commentator recently referring to Mr Putin as "NATO's recruiter in chief".
While it seems unlikely Ukraine and Georgia will have an opportunity to sign up any time soon, a key outcome of this week's talks in Madrid was the decision to invite Sweden and Finland, two nations that have been staunchly neutral for decades, to join.
The populations of both those countries are watching developments in Ukraine with growing alarm and see NATO's "if one member is attacked, all members are attacked" stance as the best insurance policy they are ever going to get.
That alarm would have been significantly escalated by Russia's brutal and apparently punitive rocket strike on a shopping centre in the city of Kremenchuk that claimed at least 18 lives and injured dozens more this week.
As NATO's secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg pithily put it: "He wants less NATO. President Putin is getting more NATO, while Finland and Sweden are joining the alliance".
While Russia and China view the outcome of the talks, which also resulted in NATO indicating it would support Ukraine with weapons and materiel for as long as it takes, as further proof of "encirclement", that is not the case.
NATO is a defensive alliance formed to protect western Europe against the Soviet bloc in 1949. It has never invaded anybody. As long as Russia and China don't attack any NATO member states they have nothing to fear.
Mr Albanese, who has welcomed NATO's decision to call China out as a security threat, appears to have acquitted himself well on an international stage once more.
While the growing tensions across the region are a cause for serious concern they are also drawing Australia closer to old friends with fresh hopes of a free trade deal with the EU now on the horizon.
There is also every likelihood relations between Canberra and Paris will be normalised by talks between Mr Albanese and French President Emmanuel Macron this weekend.
That is welcome given France, which has 1.6 million citizens, around 8000 troops and dozens of naval vessels in New Caledonia, is a major Pacific power.
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