Aus PM lambasts China's 'barbarism' in Indo-Pacific region

On the sidelines of the crucial NATO summit in Madrid, Albanese joined his New Zealand, Japanese and Korean counterparts - the NATO's Asia-Pacific partners, AP4 group - to discuss the threats facing the Asia-Pacific region.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese
Australian Prime Minister Anthony AlbaneseReuters

CHINA: Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese was seen joining the voices of the Indo-Pacific leaders at the NATO summit as he sends a warning to China to uphold a rules-based order in the region, become more transparent in its policies. He gave a "strong message" to China saying that the world is under significant threat from "barbarism".

On the sidelines of the crucial NATO summit in Madrid, Albanese joined his New Zealand, Japanese and Korean counterparts - the NATO's Asia-Pacific partners, AP4 group - to discuss the threats facing the Asia-Pacific region. During the summit, the leaders of the group said they were committed to security in the region amid the rise of China's might, reported The News, Australia's leading media outlet.

Condemning Russia was not an isolated case as the NATO leaders, in strong words, condemned China's "malicious risk". The leaders called out the government's "coercive" policies and misinformation campaigns, as well as the lack of transparency about its intentions. In addition to China's non-transparent policies, leaders expressed their concerns about China's nuclear build-up. In fact, it was this concern about the rise of China that prompted NATO to invite Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea to the summit.

Albanese said, "NATO has sent a strong message by including Asia-Pacific leaders in discussions at this forum, adding, "It is clear that Russian President Vladimir Putin's barbaric and illegal invasion of Ukraine has consequences far beyond Europe's borders." "I look forward to continuing to work closely with Asia-Pacific leaders in the pursuit of peace and stability in our region," he added.

He noted that it had been important that the AP4 leaders be invited. Meanwhile, in NATO's Strategic Concept, the group of leaders said that China had employed a "broad range" of political, economic and military tools to "increase its global footprint and project power". A statement by NATO's Strategic Concept read, "(At the same time) remaining opaque about its strategy, intentions and military build up." "(China) strives to subvert the rules-based international order, including in the space, cyber and maritime domains," it added.

"The deepening strategic partnership between the PRC and the Russian Federation and their mutually reinforcing attempts to undercut the rules-based international order run counter to our values and interests," the statement continued. Speaking at the NATO summit, Albanese urged leaders to work with their Indo-Pacific allies to prevent a situation similar to the one that is unfolding in Ukraine within the region, as per the media outlet.

He told a gathering, "Just as Russia seeks to recreate a Russian or Soviet empire, the Chinese government is seeking friends, whether it be ... through economic support to build up alliances to undermine what has historically been the Western alliance in places like the Indo Pacific." All these developments come at a time when a secret leaked document exposes China of its intentions to solidify its military presence in the Solomon Islands. However, the issue still raises concerns in Australia, as well as in Europe and the Americas.

Soloman Islands is not the first target of China's plan. Earlier, in 2017, China established its first overseas base in the East African nation of Djibouti and conducted regular military training exchanges.

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