In the midst of rumours over escalating military tensions between Russia and Ukraine, Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison called on China to condemn Russia for its threats towards Ukraine on Tuesday.
Morrison addressed the House of Commons, raising the spectre of a bigger clash between US-allied states and the Kremlin. He called on ‘all governments across the world’ to denounce Russia’s action along the border with Ukraine.
Morrison went on to say that Beijing and Moscow had indicated that they were keeping stronger connections in light of the fact that more than 130,000 Russian troops are stationed along the Ukraine’s border with Russia.
In his statement, he stated, “I do take note of the fact that the Chinese government, together with the Russian government, has been banding together on this matter and that the Chinese government has not opposed what is going in Ukraine.”
Morrison, in calling on federal legislators to join hands with Australia in encouraging the Xi Jinping-led government to condemn Russia’s military advances, increased the possibility of trade repercussions by putting China in a bind over its ambiguous positions on the issue. He also applied for approval through the United Nations rather than through its UN Security Council membership, which was previously the case.
Also on Friday, Morrison retaliated against the Chinese government for criticising Australia for holding talks with the United States, Japan, and India as part of an informal grouping known as the Quad. The Guardian reports that he stated, “Yes, the Chinese government is glad to criticise Australia for engaging in such harmless activities, but it remains chillingly silent on Russian forces massing on the Ukrainian border.” He went on to say that