EU chief warns China will take advantage of Russia if defeated by Ukraine

A top Brussels diplomat has issued a warning that China would use any Russian setback in Ukraine for geopolitical benefits as he demanded a unified response to China’s goals for a worldwide presence. EU chief Josep Borrell asked member nations to create an urgent coordinated plan that addresses both the rise of nationalism in China and the intensifying rivalry between Washington and Beijing.

According to Borrell, Russia’s failure in Ukraine would not thwart China’s plans to establish a new global order with itself at its centre but rather provide China with an opportunity to exploit the circumstance from a geopolitical standpoint.

Over the course of two days in Stockholm, EU foreign ministers will consider a new strategy towards Beijing with an emphasis on assigning more weight to the “rival” component of its present three-pronged strategy to China as a partner, competitor, and rival.

In a letter to EU foreign ministers seen by the Financial Times, Mr Borrell wrote: “The China issue is much more complex than the Russia issue.”

He added: “China’s ambition is clearly to build a new world order with China in its centre … A Russian defeat in Ukraine will not derail China’s trajectory. China will manage to take geopolitical advantage of it.”

Mr Borrell also emphasised that despite Beijing’s vocal support for Moscow, the EU is prepared to work with China constructively to resolve the Ukrainian crisis and welcomed any steps China may take in that direction.

Meanwhile, the UK will provide Ukraine with the long-range missiles that Kyiv has requested as it plots a counter-attack against Russian troops.

The Storm Shadow cruise missile can travel over a distance of 250km – much further than the Himars missiles already provided by the United States to Ukraine.

The missiles will arm Ukraine with additional capabilities as it contemplates a counter-attack against Russia.

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The longer range of the missiles, which are launched from aeroplanes, enables Ukrainian pilots to stay further away from the front lines.

In order to avoid being picked up by enemy radar after being deployed, the Storm Shadow falls to a low altitude before employing an infrared seeker to lock onto its target.

UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace made the announcement in the House of Commons, stating that the missiles would enable Ukraine to push back Russian forces on their territory.

However, he cautioned that the range of these missiles is not comparable to those of Russia’s own missile systems, some of which can travel much further.

According to figures provided by Ukraine, he claimed that Russia had committed 70,000 war crimes since the invasion began in 2022, including the deportation and internment of children, and bombing of civilian infrastructure.

Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov previously assured that the longer-range missiles would not be utilized to attack Russian targets.

He told an EU meeting: “If we could strike at a distance of up to 300 kilometres, the Russian army wouldn’t be able to provide defence and will have to lose.

“Ukraine is ready to provide any guarantees that your weapons will not be involved in attacks on the Russian territory.”

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