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Russia, China creating world of ‘danger, disorder, division’: UK

The UK sees China as an “era-defining challenge” to the world order and sees the security of the UK and Europe linked to Russia’s failed prosecution of its war against Ukraine, an update of the UK’s strategic blueprint on foreign affairs and defense policy.

In a “refresh” of the Integrated Review (IR) policy brief, the UK highlights the challenges of China and its deepening partnership with Russia, as well as Moscow’s growing cooperation with Iran. The 63-page report unveiled on Monday reinforces the UK’s language and positioning vis-à-vis Beijing and Moscow, highlighting the systematic and existential threat both countries pose to the UK, Europe and the wider rules-based global order.

While the 2021 assessment had already identified Russia as the “most acute threat to UK security”, the latest assessment notes that the collective security of the UK and Europe is now tied to the outcome of Moscow’s war on Ukraine and “denying Russia any strategic advantage from its invasion”.

Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, weaponization of energy and food supplies, and irresponsible nuclear rhetoric, combined with China’s more aggressive stance in the South China Sea and Taiwan Strait, threaten to create a world defined by danger. , disorder and division”, UK Prime Minister Richi Sunak writes in the foreword to the review.

Sunak said “the pace of geopolitical change and the magnitude of its impact on the UK and our people” could not be foreseen even in 2021 when the latest review was published.

The review notes that the UK’s delivery of £2.3 billion ($2.8 billion) in military and humanitarian aid to Kiev, as well as hundreds of targeted sanctions in cooperation with allies, had already “weakened the Russian war machine … and initiated international justice. for the flagrant war crimes committed by Moscow”.

The United Kingdom’s aim will be to contain and challenge Russia’s ability and intent to disrupt the security of the United Kingdom, the Euro-Atlantic and the wider international order. review.

The warnings about the threat from China were equally strong.

“China under the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) poses a groundbreaking and systemic challenge with implications for nearly every area of ​​government policy and the daily lives of the British people,” the review states.

Worryingly for the UK, Beijing has chosen to continue strengthening relations with Russia despite Moscow’s aggression towards Ukraine, and Beijing also continues to ignore international human rights commitments in Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet.

China’s “new multilateralism” also challenged the protection of human rights and the guarantees of freedoms under the United Nations system, as Beijing also engaged in “rapid and opaque military modernization”, and maintained its position that violence could be used to unite Taiwan with mainland China.

Unlike Moscow, there was hope for relations with Beijing as the “UK does not accept China’s relationship with the UK or its impact on the international system being set on a predetermined course,” the review adds.

“But we believe this will depend on the choices China makes, and will become more difficult if trends towards more authoritarianism and assertiveness abroad continue.”

The UK needs more defense and national security spending now and in the future, the review says, and includes plans to spend an additional £5 billion ($6 billion) on defense over the next two years, focusing primarily on nuclear resilience and replenishing depleted ammunition stocks. The assessment also reiterates the ambition to spend 2.5% of the UK’s annual gross domestic product (GDP) expenditure on defence, up from the current 2.2%.

The decision not to describe China as a threat to the UK in the review is likely to disappoint many in Sunak’s Conservative Party, Reuters news agency reported. defense is insufficient to support Ukraine and adequately protect the UK.

Conservative Party legislator Tobias Ellwood, chairman of the House of Commons defense committee, described the situation as “sliding into a new Cold War”. This is reported by the Associated Press news agency.

The publication of the review on Monday coincided with the deepening of the UK-US-Australian military pact by announcing the sale of US nuclear-powered submarines to Australia and also Washington, London and Canberra’s cooperation in the development of a new class of nuclear weapons. powered submarines in the future.

British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said in a statement to the British Parliament on Monday that the new revision was introduced that “threats have grown and systematic competition has intensified” around the world.

“There is a growing prospect of further deterioration in the coming years,” he said, referring to both North Korea and Iran.

“We live in a competitive era and the security challenges facing the British people today are the most serious for at least a generation.”