Secretary of State Penny Wong will call on China to use its “borderless” partnership with Russia to help end the Kremlin’s “illegal and immoral” invasion of Ukraine.
Senator Wong will use a speech to the United Nations General Assembly to say that countries with close ties to Moscow should exercise their influence to stop the war.
“In this endeavor, the world looks to China, a great power, a permanent member of the Security Council, with a ‘borderless partnership’ with Russia,” Senator Wong told United Nations delegates in New York Saturday morning.
“It was never intended that the Security Council’s veto would be used to enable unchecked abuse of the UN Charter – by the same countries that were granted the veto.”
Russia, a permanent member of the Security Council, vetoed a resolution in February that would have demanded that Moscow immediately halt its attack on Ukraine and withdraw all its forces.
Months later, the ongoing conflict has killed thousands of people and wreaked havoc on the global economy.
China has not condemned the Russian military attack or described it as an “invasion”.
Speaking a day after her second personal meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Senator Wong will describe Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as “an affirmation of the right of a larger country to subjugate its smaller neighbour.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin warned this week that he was ready to use any necessary military means in the war with Ukraine and accused the West of what he called “nuclear blackmail”.
In a televised address, Putin threatened to use nuclear weapons, saying “this is not a hoax,” and announced plans to mobilize 300,000 reservists to fight in Ukraine.
Senator Wong will describe Putin’s nuclear threats as “weak and desperate” when she addresses the United Nations, according to an advance transcript of her speech.
“(They) underscore the danger that nuclear weapons pose to all of us, and the urgent need to make progress on nuclear disarmament,” she said.
“Australia has always strived for a world free of nuclear weapons, and we will redouble our efforts to achieve that goal – and to strengthen the non-proliferation regime.”
Senator Wong will also use her speech to pledge more foreign aid from Australia, saying it is increasing its development aid spending by more than $1 billion.
She will say the federal government is designing a new development policy for this “crisis era” to help developing countries “without pushing them into unsustainable debt.”
Senator Wong will reaffirm the Albanian government’s commitment to tackling climate change as part of its responsibility to its smaller Pacific neighbors.
More is coming
This article was originally published when Secretary of State Penny Wong asked China to take action on the Ukraine war