The British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has refused to rule out there could be a “nuclear war” between the West with either Russia or China.
Wallace has insisted that “hard power” is needed to as Vladimir Putin has defied “all logic” with his war in Ukraine, which means it is now very hard to predict how relations will evolve over time between Russia, China and the West.
Despite the UK keeping back channels of communication open with China and Russia Wallace warned that he cannot rule out there being a “nuclear war” in the event all communications fail in the future.
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Speaking to Sky News the Defence Secretary was asked, “Sir Stephen Lovegrove, the UK’s National Security Advisor, has warned in the last few days the West risks an initiation of nuclear conflict with China or Russia because of a breakdown of communication. Do you agree with him?”
Wallace said, “I went to Moscow to speak to our counterparts just before this war. We keep lines of communication open.
“I have met with the Chinese Ambassador about a year ago, and he’s right that it’s always important to talk to countries even if you find it difficult, or distasteful, or indeed it is a challenge because there’s a conflict in Ukraine.
“Fundamentally, that is not always the real component as to why security is imperiled.”
He added, “It’s often the intention of the other country. President Putin has defied all logic with what he’s done in Ukraine.
“Everyone from his friends to his adversaries advised him not to do it, we saw the legendary marathon phone calls from Macron to Putin, and he still did it.
“That’s very hard because when someone just doesn’t want to listen to reason, sadly, you end up in a very difficult position. That’s where we are in Ukraine, proper war.
“The Russians are failing on the ground in many areas, Putin’s plans a, b and c have failed.
“Doesn’t matter how many times you say it’s not the right thing to do, you can’t just get on with warm words.
“Sometimes you need warm words and some hard power alongside it.”
Sir Stephen Lovegrove warned that China have been rapidly building up their nuclear arsenal which is part of a “new age” of proliferation meaning the world as we know it is at far greater risk.
Sir Stephen warned of the “pace and scale with which China is expanding its nuclear and conventional arsenals.”
During the Soviet Union era communication was open which meant back then it was unlikely there would have been a nuclear war, but the threat from China is worrying, Sir Stephen added.
The security chief continued, “During the Cold War, we benefited from a series of negotiations and dialogues that improved our understanding of Soviet doctrine and capabilities – and vice versa.
“This gave us both a higher level of confidence that we would not miscalculate our way into nuclear war.
“Today, we do not have the same foundations with others who may threaten us in the future – particularly with China.”