Western unity galvanised by Xi-Putin relationship, says US army chief

China has refused to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and criticized sanctions against Moscow. It has also hit back against US claims that Russia had asked China for military aid

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan this week told his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi that the US had “deep concerns about China’s alignment with Russia at this time”.

Ms Wormuth said the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD), a strategic security forum grouping the US, Australia, India and Japan, had “gotten China’s attention”.

“The Australians are incredible partners. For us in the army, we have a lot of activity with them and [the Australians] are very receptive to doing more with us,” she said.

“[China] I think, are a little nervous about what’s happening in the QUAD.”

Ms Wormuth added that there was scope for regional allies such as South Korea and Japan to broaden their deterrence capabilities.

“I would be hesitant to contemplate bringing nuclear weapons back to the peninsula, for example. But that’s why we have forums with the Koreans to be able to talk about those kinds of issues and the Japanese as well,” she said.

“Whether Japan should develop its own nuclear weapons is a bit of a hardy perennial that sort of ebbs and flows. But I think it is very important that we have a very robust dialogue in both of those alliances, about extended deterrence so that they do have confidence.

“I think one of the really key things that’s happening right now, if you’re Japan, or Taiwan, or South Korea is looking at the difference in the will to fight.”

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