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China poses a greater threat than Russia: British Admiral

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China poses a greater threat than Russia:  British Admiral

The British Royal navy’s top admiral said that while the Russian threat was imminent, China posed a greater long-term challenge and that the West could not underestimate China’s military capabilities.

Admiral Ben Key, Britain’s First Secretary of State for the Sea, said in a speech to the Geostrategical Council, a British think tank, on Tuesday (July 19): “There is a risk that a tiger cannot be seen just by focusing on bears.” ”

He said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had fundamentally changed the security environment in Europe, and that Moscow “poses an imminent threat to us at the moment and we must respond,” but that Britain and its allies must also be prepared to deal with an increasingly powerful China.

It was Sir Kee’s first public address since he became Britain’s First Sea Secretary last November. “For a sailing analogy, we have to carefully scan the entire horizon with telescopes,” he said, “and the risk of focusing solely on Russia is that you miss the long-term strategic challenge posed by China.” ”

He said the Chinese Communist Party was also learning from the Russo-Ukrainian war and how the West responded to Russian invasions.

“China is really one of the biggest beneficiaries of this conflict,” he said. “We may have overestimated Moscow’s military capabilities in some areas, but we must be vigilant and not underestimate Beijing’s military capabilities.”

The British first maritime minister pointed out that China’s GDP is ten times that of Russia, last year’s military expenditure was four times that of Russia, and China is also developing the world’s largest number of warships, building a large-scale coast guard and maritime militia.

“We all know that China is a country with huge ambitions. From the Belt and Road Initiative to the Pearl Chain strategy, from ‘island and reef construction’ in the South China Sea to attempts against Taiwan,” he said.

Sir Keey said that as British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss had pointed out two weeks ago, there was a need to learn from Ukraine’s lessons and the importance of deterring aggression and use it to protect “peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.” “Containment costs a lot, but ultimately, it costs less than conflict,” he said. ”

Speaking of the unity of the international community, he added: “This multilateral strategy is the key to building strong democracy. Our Chinese friends may argue that weak countries are allied and united, but history shows that this kind of thinking is wrong. The evidence shows that those countries that do not forge alliances are the ones that ultimately fail. ”

Britain has in recent years stepped up its focus and tilt on Indo-Pacific affairs to counter challenges from China. Last year, the Royal Navy’s HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier strike group was sent to the Indo-Pacific region for maritime activities and into the disputed waters of the South China Sea.

The UK has also established a new security partnership with the US and Australia, the Australia-UK-US Trilateral Partnership (AUKUS). Sir Key said that while much of the headlines focused on assisting Australia in developing nuclear submarine technology, the partnership was broad in terms of intelligence sharing, hypersonic speed, joint training opportunities and artificial intelligence.

“The golden thread that runs through this agreement is our common effort and desire for peace, security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region,” he said. But more importantly, act on terms agreed upon by all parties, rather than having only one party decide. ”

-Courtesy: VoA