- China excoriated the US, UK, and Australia for a nuclear submarine deal introduced Wednesday.
- The deal is seen as transfer to reply towards China’s rising navy, though leaders by no means mentioned that explicitly.
- A Chinese language spokesperson accused the three nations for having an “outdated Cold War zero-sum mentality.”
China tore into the US, UK, and Australia for signing a defense technology deal that may assist Australia kind a nuclear-powered submarine fleet — a partnership that consultants consider additionally serves as a response to Beijing’s quickly rising navy may.
Chinese language Overseas Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian referred to as the deal “extremely irresponsible” and mentioned the trio of countries “should abandon the outdated Cold War zero-sum mentality and narrow-minded geopolitical stability.”
“Otherwise, they will only end up shooting themselves in the foot,” he mentioned at a press conference on Thursday.
Zhao highlighted Australia’s use of nuclear energy for its pending submarine fleet, calling into query if it actually intends to maintain to its standing as a nuclear non-proliferation nation.
“The nuclear submarine cooperation between the US, the UK and Australia has seriously undermined regional peace and stability, intensified the arms race and undermined international non-proliferation efforts,” mentioned Zhao. He additionally accused the US and UK of holding double requirements with their stances on nuclear weapons.
Australian prime minister Scott Morrison has mentioned the deal has nothing to do with acquiring nuclear weapons, and that Australia has no intention of doing so.
Morrison, US president Joe Biden, and UK prime minister Boris Johnson did not point out China of their announcement of their deal on Wednesday.
—Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) September 16, 2021
However the safety partnership, dubbed “AUKUS,” is seen by analysts as a push to rein in Beijing’s quickly increasing navy may. Two US officers aware of the matter told Politico that countering China is a crucial subtext within the deal.
The West has been more and more involved by China’s aggression within the South China Sea, the place Beijing continues to augment its military presence in disputed waters and escalate tensions with its neighbors.
UK protection secretary Ben Wallace told the BBC that China is “embarking on one of the biggest military spends in history.”
“It is growing its navy [and] air force at a huge rate. Obviously it is engaged in some disputed areas. Our partners in those regions want to be able to stand their own ground,” Wallace mentioned.
Australia and China have been locked in an unpleasant trade disagreement since final 12 months, with the latter climbing up tariffs and accusing Australia of manipulating markets.
“This brutal, unilateral, and unpredictable decision reminds me a lot of what Mr. Trump used to do,” said French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.
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