Australia: India-China Russia rhetoric 'significant'

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India and China need to play a bigger role in curbing Russia's war in Ukraine but recent progress in the rhetoric from the two nations is significant, an Australian lawmaker says.

Democratic governments must continue to uphold the international rule of law, says MP Peter Khalil. © James Ross/AAP PHOTOS Democratic governments must continue to uphold the international rule of law, says MP Peter Khalil.

Chair of parliament's intelligence and security committee Peter Khalil says democratic governments needed to continue to uphold the international rule of law.

Mr Khalil used a trip to the United States to meet with lawmakers from 30 democratic nations as part of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China.

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"The focus was particularly on how we develop policy around China ... looking particularly at how we can ensure that our laws are fit for purpose in a very volatile period," he told the ABC on Monday.

The Labor MP also noted a turning of the tides towards India's, and to a lesser extent China's, rhetoric on the war.

"It is significant," Mr Khalil said.

"The Chinese Communist Party has sort of tethered itself to Russia."

Mr Khalil also questioned whether China's concerns about Russia's "failings" in Ukraine were borne from the unsettling of its strategic partner rather than the Kremlin's negation of international law.

"There could be some real concerns in Beijing about the fact that the war is not going very well for their partner," he said.

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India and China have resisted joining Western sanctions against Russia and have failed to explicitly condemn its invasion.

India's stance has drawn the ire of democratic nations, especially as it participates as a member of the Quad security dialogue which includes Australia, the United States and Japan.

New Delhi has traditionally relied heavily on Russia for its military hardware and equipment.

But Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi used a televised address to the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation - formed by Russia and China as a counterweight to US influence - to admonish Russia, saying "today's era is not of war".

Russian President Vladimir Putin also acknowledged that his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping had raised concerns about the war with him.

China expressed support for Russia's "core interests" but also interest in working together to "inject stability" into world affairs.

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There are also major concerns about potential actions from Mr Putin with Russia reeling from a Ukrainian counteroffensive that recaptured the city of Kharkiv.

"The more Putin is pushed into a corner, the more he acts like a wounded animal that lashes out," Mr Khalil said.

"The concern is that he may reach for chemical weapons or biological or even worse, tactical nuclear weapons.

"We are doing everything we can to ensure that doesn't happen."

The war in Ukraine is set to dominate discussions at the United Nations this week as world leaders prepare to meet in New York.

Foreign Minister Penny Wong will lead Australia's delegation to the UN General Assembly.

Senator Wong will use Australia's national statement to outline its commitment to a rules-based order where sovereignty is respected, warning that peace and prosperity are under threat.

"It's in Australia's national interest to ensure a world where countries operate by agreed rules and norms, and where outcomes aren't decided by power and size alone," Senator Wong said.

"That means we need to work with others to solve shared problems and advance our interests."

The 77th general assembly session will run from September 19 to 24.

with AP

Vladimir Putin's war in Ukraine is going so badly even loyal bloggers are turning on him .
Within just a few days, Ukraine has liberated as much territory as Russia had gained over the past few months. Whether Ukraine can capitalise on the momentum relies on several key factors, not least the ongoing support of the West. How Ukraine scored its biggest victory since the war began It only took a few days for Ukraine to liberate as much territory as Russia had captured over several months, as the occupying force crumbled then withdrew from Izium on Saturday. Ukraine appears to have borrowed a US military tactic favoured during the Iraq War called a "thunder run".

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