Melting ice could open up Atlantic for China, warns Army chief
China is ‘building up its nuclear forces’ says expert
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Britain’s Chief of Defence Staff has warned that melting ice caps will enable China’s military forces to “reach into the Atlantic”, a news report has stated. The statement was made by Admiral Sir Tony Radakin as he urged people to consider what effect climate change would have on the security of the nation.
In his annual Royal United Services Institute address, Sir Tony said: “We also need to consider the melting of the ice caps in the coming decades, which will: unleash a difficult new competition for minerals and resources; halve the time it takes for shipping to travel between Asia and Europe; and surely China’s military forces will start to reach into the Atlantic?”
As the former first sea lord, Sir Tony previously warned that, as the transit time between Europe and Asia inevitably shortens, so too can the West expect to see China sailing its “growing navy” through the shorter route.
China poses a different danger but is a supporter of Russia, whether at the United Nations or taking advantage of cheap energy, said Admiral Radakin, and it has substantially increased its nuclear arsenal and strengthened its armed forces.
Beijing is showing its military might “in the Indo-Pacific and the brazen claims of 80 per cent of the South China Sea, the plundering of fishing grounds and the denial of protein to neighbouring states, aggression shown toward Taiwan or protests in Hong Kong”.
The lesson from 2022, said Admiral Radakin, is “to recognise that we are part of a generational struggle for the future of the global order … and the alternative to thinking big, and to thinking on a global scale, is that we become an introspective, cautious nation, that looks the other way.
“But we’ve seen what happens when countries look away: authoritarians are emboldened, rules get broken, economic turmoil and global insecurity follow.
“We all pay the price.”
He also said that the world is going through an “extraordinarily dangerous time” as war rages in Europe and confrontations escalate between the West and China, North Korea and Iran.
He said that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has seen “naked aggression and territorial expansion” along with “extraordinary vilification and hatred, ethnic scourges, sub-human labelling and war crimes including summary executions”.
The war means “millions are put at risk of famine” while further afield “hundreds of millions are suffering the pressure of increased energy prices, inflation, job losses, and the consequences that follow, whether mentally or physically”.
Despite this gloomy assessment, he said there were reasons for Britain and the West to be optimistic: “Extraordinary times call for an extraordinary response.
“And that is why Russia is losing. And the free world is winning.”
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In his attempt to divide the world, Mr Putin “has unintentionally assembled an extraordinary coalition of democracies against him”, said the Admiral.
He added: “It is as if he has illuminated what our beliefs really mean and entail.
“We can take confidence from the response. Because the response is affirming the perilous nature of using violence and the military instrument as the means to achieve political goals.
“That is profound. It has resonance around the globe. And it makes us all safer. At its heart is the will of one country to fight for its survival.”
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