Ukraine’s fate matters because ‘China is watching’ Russian invasion, UK defense secretary says | world news

Ukraine’s fate matters because “China is watching” Russia’s invasion and the Western response, the British defense secretary has said.

Asked what lesson Beijing would learn if the war ended with Moscow controlling 20% ​​of Ukrainian territory and Vladimir Poutine still in power, Ben Wallace told a small group of reporters on Wednesday: “That the West lacks determination.”

A similar conclusion was probably drawn after the The Taliban have regained control of Afghanistan last summer when American, British and other NATO forces withdrew and the Afghan government collapsed.

“Ukraine matters because China is watching,” Wallace said, speaking after a meeting in Oslo, Norway, of a group of defense ministers from northern and eastern European countries. East.

“You see the problems around Taiwan…. [the war in Ukraine] finally concerns the will of the West to defend its values, that is all.

“So all kinds of people who have a different view of the world – or even who are our adversaries or competitors – are going to look and test that resolve and see and be able to engage how far they can push it. “

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President of China Xi Jinping will have already timed how the UK, the US and other Western allies united to retaliate against President Vladimir Putin’s war, with unprecedented sanctions, while supporting Ukraine with ever-increasing weapons. more deadly.

“If Russia thought it was going to paint a story of splits and failures, it actually failed and China will notice,” Mr Wallace said.

Analysts suspect that Beijing will use the lessons it learns from the West’s response to Russia’s war as it plans to use military force to impose control over Taiwan.

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech during a ceremony marking the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Youth League of China at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Tuesday 10th May, 2022. Chinese President Xi Jinping promoted the role of the ruling Communist Party's youth wing on Tuesday ahead of a key party congress later this year amid growing economic and social pressures.  (Yue Yuewei/Xinhua via AP)
Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photo: AP

Britain’s defense secretary said he did not want to speculate on China’s policy on the territory. But he said: “Britain’s position is that the issues between China and Taiwan should be resolved peacefully and diplomatically.

“That’s why for us, the problems in Hong Kong are worrying because the ‘one country, two systems’ has been trashed in this process and it doesn’t bode well for Taiwan.”

Mr Wallace was referring to Beijing’s decision to erase key rights and freedoms Hong Kong, a former British territory, once enjoyed in what the UK considers a breach of covenants China had done with the UK.

The comments came as it emerged President Xi had had a phone call with Vladimir Putin. Authoritarian leaders have grown closer as their interests align, but analysts say that in reality there is a lack of mutual trust.

Just weeks before the invasion of Russia, the two issued an extraordinary joint statement setting out what they called their shared vision for a “new era” in international relations.

During Wednesday’s phone call, President Xi stressed that since the beginning of this year, in the face of global upheaval and change, China-Russia relations have maintained good momentum of development.

The Defense Secretary made the remarks after meeting Tuesday and Wednesday morning with his 10-man Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) counterparts ahead of a meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels on Wednesday after- noon and Thursday.

Sweden and Finland, both JEF members, decided to join NATO following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, ending their historic neutrality.

Mr Wallace said he hoped resistance to the move by a single NATO ally – Turkey – would be lifted in time for the formal membership process to be launched by the 30-member alliance when heads of state and government will meet for a historic summit at the end of June.

The defense secretary said he plans to visit Turkey next week to listen to Ankara’s concerns and work to resolve them.

“We must always remember that they [Turkey] are a vital part of NATO,” he said, speaking separately to Sky News and The Telegraph on Tuesday.

“Turkey is a key strategic ally for Britain and for Europe. They are the bridge and the misfortune of anyone who forgets how important Turkey is.”

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Post expires at 5:24pm on Monday June 27th, 2022