China and Russia seek a world ‘where differences are resolved by force’: US
China and Russia seek a world where force is used to resolve disputes, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin warned on Saturday, promising that the United States would continue to uphold humanitarian principles and international law.
“Beijing, like Moscow, seeks a world where might is good, where differences are resolved by force, and where autocrats can extinguish the flame of freedom,” Austin told the Halifax International Security Forum in Canada.
Moscow’s war against Kyiv “underscored the challenge we face in the Indo-Pacific, where (China) is also pushing for something far removed from our vision of a free, stable and open international system” , Austin said.
Chinese activities around Taiwan are becoming “increasingly provocative”, he said, with planes from Beijing flying near the island almost daily and carrying out a number of dangerous interceptions of US and allied aircraft.
Washington has identified China and its efforts to reshape the Indo-Pacific region as the most significant challenge facing the United States.
The US National Defense Strategy, released last month, also said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine highlights the “acute threats” that Moscow poses, which Washington is working to deter.
Austin linked the two challenges in his speech on Saturday and said if one country is able to get away with violations, others will follow.
“There are always rules in war. And if a great power can flaunt those rules, it encourages others to defy international law and international norms,” he said.
“We are determined to defend these rules – and in particular the fundamental principle of non-combatant immunity.”
Austin also said Moscow’s efforts to enlist support from countries such as Iran and North Korea are creating new security challenges for the United States and its allies.
“Russia has turned to Iran and North Korea for help in its assault on Ukraine, including using Iranian drones to kill Ukrainian civilians,” he said.
Washington has said Iranian personnel were in Crimea to help Russia carry out drone attacks on Ukraine, which Tehran has denied.
Austin said Ukraine faces a tough winter and Moscow may again turn to the nuclear saber as it suffers battlefield casualties, promising that the United States and its allies will meet those challenges. .
“The invasion of Russia offers a glimpse into a possible world of tyranny and turmoil that none of us would want to live in,” he said.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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