NATO summit: Anthony Albanian’s message to China

Anthony Albanese has fired a warning shot at China after landing in Madrid for an important NATO summit.

Anthony Albanese has fired a warning shot at China after landing in Madrid for an important NATO summit.

The prime minister said the western world has shown “solidarity” with Ukraine since the Russian invasion had shown China it needs to be careful.

Beijing has said in recent months that it is expanding its influence across the Pacific by signing a pact with the Solomon Islands, fearing it could build a military base there.

There are also longstanding concerns that China could attempt to invade Taiwan.

“The Russian invasion of Ukraine, of course, came just after… a special relationship between Russia and China [was signed]’ said Mr Albanian.

“That reinforces the need for us to be involved, and I am very happy to be here and represent Australia at this NATO summit.”

Mr Albanian and other world leaders will discuss NATO’s next steps to help Ukraine, and the relationship between Moscow and Beijing is also on the agenda.

He told reporters that “we live in an uncertain world”, and described the Russian invasion of Ukraine as “cruel”.

“The Russian invasion of Ukraine has disrupted the standards we thought would uphold the rule of law and respect the borders of sovereign nations,” he said.

“The people of Ukraine are doing the democratic world a tremendous service.

“But it is important that democratic nations stand behind Ukraine. And that is the context of this NATO summit.”

Meanwhile, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg announced plans to increase high-preparedness troops to “well over 300,000” troops while bolstering their defenses.

Stoltenberg said allies would bolster some of their battlegroup deployments along NATO’s eastern flank “to the brigade level” — tactical units of several thousand troops — and boost high readiness rates to “well over 300,000.”

In addition, heavier weapons, including air defense systems, would be pushed forward and troops would be pre-allocated to defend specific NATO members on the alliance’s exposed eastern edge.

“This is the largest overhaul of our collective defense and deterrence since the Cold War,” Stoltenberg said.

Stoltenberg gave no further details about the extra high-level preparedness troops or how they might be deployed by the alliance.

NATO currently has a high-preparedness force of approximately 40,000 troops under its command.

The more than 300,000 troops are expected to form a larger pool that the alliance can tap into in the event of an emergency.

Originally published as ‘Solidarity’ with Ukraine, sends strong message to China, says Anthony Albanese as he lands for NATO summit

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