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Anthony Albanese has joined world leaders in sending a “strong message” to Russia and China, as the world warns the rules-based order is under significant threat from ‘barbarism’.
On the sidelines of the NATO summit in Madrid, the Prime Minister joined his New Zealand, Japanese and Korean counterparts – the AP4 group – to discuss the threats facing the Asia-Pacific region.
The group, who had been invited by NATO, said they were committed to security in the region amid the rise of China’s might.
It came as NATO leaders made the unprecedented move to condemn China’s “malicious risk”, calling out the government’s “coercive” policies and misinformation campaigns, as well as the lack of transparency about its intentions.
NATO members also specifically raised concerns about China’s nuclear build-up.
It was this concern about the rise of China that prompted NATO to invite Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea to the summit.
“NATO has sent a strong message by including Asia-Pacific leaders in discussions at this forum,” Mr Albanese said.
“It is clear that President 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.”
Mr Albanese said it had been important for AP4 leaders to be invited.
In NATO’s Strategic Concept, the group of leaders said the People’s Republic of China had employed a “broad range” of political, economic and military tools to “increase its global footprint and project power”.
“(At the same time) remaining opaque about its strategy, intentions and military build up,” the Strategic Concept read.
“(China) strives to subvert the rules-based international order, including in the space, cyber and maritime domains.
“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.”
Speaking at a NATO gathering, Mr Albanese had urged leaders to work with their Indo-Pacific allies to prevent a situation similar to that unfolding in Ukraine within the region.
“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,” he told a gathering.
- by Ellen Ransley, news.com.au