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 Putin and Xi Jinping said "[We] oppose further enlargement of NATO and call on the North Atlantic Alliance to abandon its ideologised cold war approaches ...".
It's little wonder, given rhetoric such as this and Chinese's refusal to speak out against the Russian invasion of Ukraine, that Beijing is now on NATO's radar.
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.
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. 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 Mr Macron this weekend.
That is a 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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