Ukraine latest news: Russia claims ceasefire for civilians’ escape – BBC News


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Copyright: EPA

Australia’s
Prime Minister has just delivered a lengthy foreign policy speech in Sydney
where he pointedly singled out China and its response so far to Russia’s invasion.

“The world has
heard China’s words about its commitment to global peace and respect for sovereignty
and territorial integrity for a long time now.

It is up to China, at this hinge
point of history, to demonstrate these are more than just words,”
Scott
Morrison said.

The early
signs were “not good”, he said, pointing out Xi and Putin’s meeting at the Winter
Olympics, China’s support for Russian wheat exports, and Beijing’s language which
“pretended to… even a ‘legitimate’ cause for Russia to invade
Ukraine.”

“No
country would have a greater impact on Russia than China joining the rest of
the world in denouncing Russia’s aggression and applying the same sanctions. So
far they have not.”

Relations between China and Australia have dived in
recent years as Canberra has vocalised concerns about Beijing’s alleged
interference in domestic politics and affairs – something China denies.

The
Morrison government has become more explicit in stating concerns about China’s
power in the Indo-Pacific region. In the first half of his speech, Mr Morrison warned
a “new arc of autocracy is instinctively aligning to challenge and reset the world order in their
own image”.

He emphasised
that Australia was working with other like-minded countries to punish Russia, noting:
This is important because we know that there are powerful actors in our region
who are watching closely, looking for signs of weakness and division within the
West.”

He thanked allies
Japan, South Korea and Singapore for their sanctions on Russia – calling it a “welcome
testimony to international solidarity in our region”.

China’s response to this crisis has been closely scrutinised.

Earlier, the BBC’s Robin Brant in Shanghai asked if it could be doing more to stop Russia’s war in Ukraine.

BBC News


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