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US Defense Secretary China and Russia seek a world in which “Power is Right”

 

U.S. Secretary of Defense Austin Holds Press Conference at the Pentagon (November 16, 2022)
U.S. Secretary of Defense Austin Holds a Press Conference at the Pentagon (November 16, 2022)

U.S. Defense Secretary Austin warned Saturday that China and Russia seek a world in which disputes can be resolved by force, and the United States will continue to defend humanitarian principles and international law.

Speaking at the Halifax Forum on International Security in Canada, Austin said, “Beijing, like Moscow, seeks a world where might makes right, a world where disputes can be resolved by force and where dictators can extinguish the flames of freedom.”

Austin said Russia’s war in Ukraine “underscores the challenges we face in the Indo-Pacific region, where [China] is also pushing something very far removed from our vision of a free, stable, and open international system.”

He said China’s activities around Taiwan were “more provocative,” with Beijing’s planes flying close to Taiwan almost daily to intercept U.S. and allied aircraft.

Washington sees the PRC and its efforts to redesign the Indo-Pacific region as the most serious challenge facing the United States.

In his speech Saturday, Austin linked the threat posed by China to Russia, saying if one country could get away with violating the rules, others would follow.

“There are still rules to war,” he said. If a power flauntizes these rules, it encourages others to defy international law and norms,” and “We are determined to defend these rules, especially the fundamental principle of noncombatant immunity.”

Austin also said Moscow’s efforts to gain support from countries such as Iran and North Korea pose new security challenges to the United States and its allies.

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“Russia wants Iran and North Korea to help attack Ukraine, including using Iranian drones to kill Ukrainian civilians,” he said.

Austin said Ukraine is facing a harsh winter, and Moscow could again engage in nuclear intimidation if it suffers defeat on the battlefield. He assured that the United States and its allies meet these challenges.

“The Russian invasion offers a preview of the possible world of tyranny and turmoil that none of us would want to live in,” he said.

(This article is based on an AFP report)

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