Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison called on China on Monday (03.07.2022) to respect its commitment to world peace and to use its significant influence on Moscow to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and impose sanctions in line with the international community.
“The world has long heard China’s words about its commitment to world peace and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity. It is up to China, at this pivotal point in history, to show that they are more than just words,” Morrison said. A virtual speech at the Lowy Institute in Sydney.
Morrison stressed that “no country has a greater influence on Russia than China,” praising, in turn, the “coordinated” efforts of European countries such as Germany, Sweden and Finland to counter the “authoritarian adventurism” of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
So far, China has refrained from speaking publicly in recent UN Security Council and General Assembly votes condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as well as expressing its opposition to unilateral sanctions imposed by the United States, Europe and other Western countries.
Morrison also criticized China for “throwing a lifeline to Russia” by easing all trade restrictions on Russian wheat after the invasion and for claiming there was a “level playing field” and a “legitimate” cause behind Putin’s China-ordered invasion.
The Australian president’s comments come after US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, pressed his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, in a phone call so that Beijing, which has traditionally defended the territorial sovereignty of countries, would be more critical of Moscow.
Morrison, who spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the weekend to reaffirm his government’s support, announced last Tuesday that about A$70 million (about US$50.8 million or €45.4 million) would fund Ukraine’s military capacity in the face of Russian aggression.
It will also allocate about 35 million Australian dollars (about 25.4 million US dollars or 27.7 million euros) in humanitarian aid, in addition to processing about 1,700 visas and plans to provide other temporary or permanent visas to more than 1.7 million Ukrainians. They fled the conflict, according to Morrison.
gs (efe, reuters, afp)
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