Western leaders said on Saturday that Russia and China were seeking to “replace existing international rules” with their own order, as Beijing backed Moscow in a showdown with NATO.
Russia has almost surrounded Ukraine with a huge buildup of troops, and US President Joe Biden has warned that Vladimir Putin is planning an invasion within days.
Moscow is using the threat of an invasion of Ukraine to demand an end to NATO enlargement and what it calls Cold War ideologies.
During a well-staged performance in Beijing at the Winter Olympics, Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping spoke in unison against NATO enlargement.
“For the first time, we see Beijing joining Moscow and calling on NATO to stop admitting new members,” said Alliance leader Jens Stoltenberg, speaking at the Munich Security Conference.
“This is an attempt to control the fate of free nations, rewrite international rules and impose their own authoritarian models of government,” he warned.
EU President Ursula von der Leyen has spoken out, accusing Moscow of “outrageous attempts” to rewrite the global order.
Russia and China are seeking to “replace existing international rules – they prefer the rule of law, intimidation instead of self-determination,” she said at a Munich conference.
Speaking at the same forum a few hours later via video link, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that Beijing’s commitment to respect for territorial sovereignty was “consistent” and that anyone who challenged it “said” his position.
But he also questioned whether lasting peace would guarantee NATO’s eastward expansion.
“We believe that the Cold War is long gone – NATO was a product of the Cold War era, and now we need to look at the current situation and we need to adapt NATO,” he said.
“If there is constant eastern expansion, will it guarantee peace in Europe? This is an issue that our friends in Europe need to think seriously about. “
Wang also stressed that “all parties have the right to express their concerns, while Russia’s reasonable concerns must also be respected and listened to.”
In recent years, China has been in the spotlight of the West because of its human rights case, including alleged Uighur abuses, which has also led to a diplomatic boycott of the US-led Winter Olympics.
China enjoyed widespread support from the Soviet Union, the forerunner of the modern Russian state, after the establishment of communist rule in 1949, but the two socialist states later split due to ideological differences.
Relations returned to normal when the Cold War ended in the 1990s, and in recent years the couple has pursued a strategic partnership in which they have worked closely on trade, military and geopolitical issues.
The escalation of tensions with the West has further strengthened ties between the world’s most populous country and the world’s largest.
Speaking in Munich on Saturday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz warned against looking at the world through the prism of the Cold War, as he assessed that since the 1990s nations are no longer divided into the communist and capitalist halves.
“Now there are only capitalist countries on the globe, but North Korea. And if you see it that way, the difference between the states is in autocracy, in the way we govern our countries, in democracy, ”he said.
“It is absolutely clear that we are going into a multipolar world,” he said, adding that “one can be sure that other future or already great Asian countries will not accept” any attempts by China or Russia to build. strengthen their own spheres of domination or interests.
“Not Korea, not Japan, not Vietnam, not Indonesia, not Malaysia,” he warned.
https://www.defencetalk.com/west-voices-fears-of-russia-china-axis-78008/ The West voices fears about the Russian-Chinese axis