China sees Russian invasion as a ‘strategic utility’, says the former Australian Prime Minister
China sees Russian invasion as a ‘strategic utility’, says the former Australian Prime Minister

China sees Russian invasion as a ‘strategic utility’, says the former Australian Prime Minister

China will welcome a protracted war in Ukraine as a “rolling strategic diversion” from its own assertion, according to former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, and exploit a distracted West to focus on its competition with the United States.

Western nations have imposed economic sanctions on Russia and Russia provided Ukraine with weapons after President Vladimir Putin’s invasion in February. China has refused to condemn Russia’s warfare, citing allegations that Beijing supported Moscow’s invasion.

Rudd, a Mandarin speaker who cultivated Australia’s relations with China during his tenure as prime minister between 2007 and 2010, said the importance of its ties to Moscow meant that Beijing “would not distance itself from Russia” under President Xi Jinping.

“Too many Chinese strategic interests depend on the Moscow relationship, which has to do with the stability of their own border with Russia; the fact that China does not want to focus on a Russia problem, but focus on the United States regionally and globally. “and the fact that China sees strategic utility in Russia as a rolling strategic diversion for the Americans, the Middle East, North Africa and Europe,” Rudd told the Financial Times in an interview.

“China sees Russia as a reliable long-term source of coal, gas, oil, grain and other raw materials.”

Rudd, who is a member of the opposition Labor party, said Australia was facing “a difficult challenge with China’s progress” because it was the country’s largest trading partner, which according to government figures accounted for more than a quarter of two-way trade. .

Deteriorating diplomatic relations have rolled out into the trade in recent years, China has introduced taxes or informal bans on Australian coal, wine, beef and barley.

Kevin Rudd, a Mandarin speaker, received criticism for encouraging Canberra’s relationship with Beijing during his premiere period © AAP

Rudd defended Aukus Security Pact announced last year between Britain, the United States and Australia, saying the trilateral defense agreement, signed by Liberal Party Prime Minister Scott Morrison, was a natural response to China’s growing military self-assertion.

“Let’s be very clear about that: China has been expanding its military spending, its investment in blue water capabilities, offensive weapons systems, expanding its nuclear arsenal, a thousand new land-based nuclear silos along with testing hypersonic weapons,” Rudd said.

Richard McGregor, a senior fellow at the Lowy Institute think tank, said he “largely” agreed with Rudd’s assessment of China’s view of Russia.

McGregor said “no boundaries partnershipBetween Russia and China, announced in February, was “two decades in the making” and would not be “developed quickly”.

“The Chinese system meandered in an attempt to formulate a response after the initial invasion [of Ukraine]”But it’s pretty clear now that they’re right behind Russia,” McGregor said. “And the best indication is that all official propaganda is focused on blaming the United States.”

In his new book, The inevitable warRudd argues that war between the United States and China is a growing possibility, but can be avoided by “controlled strategic competition”.

It would involve setting clear geopolitical “red lines”, competing in “non-lethal” areas such as trade, foreign policy and ideology, and cooperating on issues including climate change, public health and global financial stability.

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