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China Must Join Global Action Against Russia’s Ukraine War – Australia

FILE PHOTO: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks to the media in Melbourne
FILE PHOTO: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison addresses the media at the Melbourne Commonwealth Parliament Office on February 11, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. Darrian Traynor/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

March 7, 2022

By Byron Kaye

SYDNEY (Reuters) – China must live up to its declarations to promote world peace and join efforts to stop Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Australia’s prime minister said on Monday, warning the world was at risk from an “arc of Autocracy” to be reshaped. .

Scott Morrison also hinted in a broad speech that the invasion of Russia was not going according to the plan of his leader Vladimir Putin, who he says has “overestimated the possibilities of waging this illegal war.”

“China has long claimed a role as one of the world’s greatest powers and a contributor to global peace and stability. No country will have a greater impact in bringing this terrible war in Ukraine to a conclusion than China,” Morrison said in response to a question after a speech at the Lowy Institute think tank.

Morrison, whose government has clashed with its biggest export partner over a series of issues, said he was dismayed by China’s reluctance.

“I have listened to the Chinese government’s voice in condemning Russia’s actions and there has been an appalling silence,” he said.

China has declined to call Russia’s attack on Ukraine an “invasion,” while urging Western countries to respect Russia’s “legitimate security concerns.” She calls for a solution to the crisis through negotiations.

Russia calls the campaign it launched on February 24 a “military special operation” and says it has no plans to occupy Ukraine.

Morrison called it a “gross violation of international law” and “the latest example of an authoritarian regime attempting to challenge the status quo through threats and violence.”

Most countries had stopped trading with Russia and payment companies like Visa and Mastercard ceased operations there.

But China has eased wheat tariffs on Russia and could supply its UnionPay system, Morrison said.

“To me, that just doesn’t align with what the broader international interest is,” he said. “As long as they have a bet on that in every way, I fear the bloodshed will continue.”

Morrison, whose comments amplify Australia’s criticism of China, also suggested his silence revealed a natural affinity for Russia that had far-reaching implications.

“A new arc of autocracy instinctively aims to challenge and rearrange the world order in its own image,” he said.

Morrison questioned whether the invasion was in line with Putin’s plan, as Putin said it was.

“There is no doubt that Mr. Putin is not getting what he wanted,” Morrison said.

“I think he overestimated the ability to fight this illegal war. The way he’s setting young conscripts on fire right now, I don’t see how that would go over well in Russia.”

Morrison predicted a “resistance in Ukraine that will only grow with time. I think any potential gains made will be very difficult to sustain.”

Morrison, whose Conservative coalition faces an election by May that most polls suggest it will lose, last year formed a new alliance with the United States and Britain focused on nuclear submarines for Australia.

On Monday he said the submarine bases would be built on the east coast, where most of the population lives.

(Reporting by Byron Kaye; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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Bobby Allyn

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