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European leaders have grown increasingly wary of China in recent years and that caution has hardened in recent months as Beijing has repeatedly refused to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine and bolstered its ties with Vladimir Putin. Prime Minister Boris Johnson likened the need to support Ukraine with the second world war, saying the impact of allowing a Russian victory would “also be felt in east Asia”. But China has pushed back over being named a “systemic challenge” in NATO’s new strategic vision, expected to be approved during the bloc’s summit, which began Tuesday. Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said: “China pursues an independent foreign policy of peace. It does not interfere in other countries’ internal affairs or export ideology, still less engage in long-arm jurisdiction, economic coercion or unilateral sanctions. How could China be labeled a ‘systemic challenge’? We solemnly urge NATO to immediately stop spreading false and provocative statements against China,” he said, adding that NATO should “stop seeking to disrupt Asia and the whole world after it has disrupted Europe.”
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Liz Truss eyes China in wake of Russian invasion
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has demanded faster action to help Taiwan with defensive weapons, a key requirement for Ukraine since the invasion.
She said: “There’s always a tendency – and we’ve seen this prior to the Ukraine war – there’s always a tendency of wishful thinking, to hope that more bad things won’t happen and to wait until it’s too late,” Truss told the Commons foreign affairs committee. Her words went well beyond the standard government language on the issue.
“We should have done things earlier, we should have been supplying the defensive weapons into Ukraine earlier. We need to learn that lesson for Taiwan. Every piece of equipment we have sent takes months of training, so the sooner we do it, the better.”
Good morning from London. I’m Tara Fair, I’ll be bringing you all the latest developments on the NATO Summit. Please feel free to get in touch with me as I work if you have a story or tips to share! Your thoughts are always welcome.
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