UK military officer: China shouldn’t help Russia sustain ‘outrageous’ Ukraine war | India News

NEW DELHI: China should not help Russia sustain its “outrageous and illegal” war against Ukraine, a top UK military officer said on Saturday, even as he called for a major step-up in bilateral defence cooperation with India in fields ranging from maritime security to sharing of high-end technology.
“If the relationship between Russia and China is enabled around peace and prosperity for those two nations, then it is not for us to view it with any concern,” said visiting First Sea Lord and UK Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Ben Key.
“But if what China is doing is to enable and perpetuate Russia’s outrageous violation of Ukrainian sovereignty, in a way that it has currently been doing… potentially to provideweapons so that Russia can continue to operate in Ukraine, then I would regret that strongly,” he added.
While the UK has “no quarrel” with the Russian people, President Vladimir Putin’s illegitimate invasion of Ukraine against all international principles and norms must becondemned strongly. “And, it would be inappropriate of China to be enabling Putin to continue to act as illegally as he is doing in Ukraine at the moment,” Admiral Key said.
There is also major concern around the globe about China’s aggressive and expansionist tactics in the entire Indo-Pacific region, especially the contentious South China Sea, fielding as it now does the world’s largest navy with 355 warships and submarines.
Asked about this, Admiral Key said the UK would “encourage” China to adhere to the “rules-set” developed over time by the international community that is enshrined in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Admiral Key, who met Chief of Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan and Navychief Admiral R Hari Kumar, told TOI that the India-UK ‘2030 Roadmap’ had set “very ambitious targets” to achieve on the bilateral front.
The UK is especially keen to bolster the defence-industrial partnership, having offered jet engine technology for India’s proposed project to build the fifth-generation advanced medium combat aircraft (AMCA) as well as nextgeneration electric propulsion systems for warships.
The UK also plans to work with India as a key strategic partner in bolstering maritime security in the crucial Indo-Pacific in tune with its Integrated Defence Review-2021. “I shared some ideas with Admiral Kumar. There are a number of opportunities emerging in bilateral defence ties,” Admiral Key said.

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