As the Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese prepares to go to Europe for a summit of NATO leaders, he issued a warning to the Chinese government, urging them to grasp the lessons that may be taken from Russia’s “strategic failure in Ukraine.”
In an interview with the Australian Financial Review that took place while Albanese was travelling to Spain for a NATO meeting, Albanese stated that the invasion of Ukraine had brought democratic nations together, “whether they be members of NATO, or non-members such as Australia.” Australia is not a member of NATO.
When asked what lesson the Chinese government should take away from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, especially in regards to its intentions toward Taiwan,
Under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, the Chinese government has made no secret of its long-term goal to incorporate the democratic island of Taiwan into the People’s Republic of China in the coming decades. Despite the fact that the two regions have been under different administration for over 70 years, Beijing has long held the view that Taiwan is a renegade province.
In recent years, China has significantly increased the number of military exercises and drills that it conducts in the air and water surrounding Taiwan. The United States and its allies have described this trend as one of escalating hostility against the island.
The most recent remarks made by Albanese come at a time when Australia and China are tentatively exploring the possibility of restarting diplomatic engagement. This is happening under the center-left Albanese government, which was just sworn in a little over a month ago after winning an election in May.
However, there are still a huge number of sources of diplomatic conflict between the nations, including China’s punitive measures put on Australian exports, Beijing’s rising involvement in the Pacific, and the arrest of two notable Chinese Australians.
After attending the NATO summit with the presidents of three other Asia-Pacific countries — Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand — in Spain, Albanese will travel to Paris for a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron to work on healing relations with him.
The head of government in Australia has been sent an invitation to go to Ukraine by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, but he has not disclosed whether or not he would accept the offer.
Albanese revealed in a news conference on Monday, shortly after arriving in Madrid, that he had talked to Manesseh Sogavare, the Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands, for the first time since he assumed his position as leader. According to the head of the Australian government, it was a “really good debate.”