China warned on Tuesday that Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom are on a “wrong and dangerous path” with the announcement of a deal on nuclear-powered submarines.
“The latest joint statement from the US, UK and Australia demonstrates that the three countries are increasingly heading down a wrong and dangerous path, thinking of their own interests and minimizing the concerns of the international communityChinese diplomatic spokesman Wang Wenbin said.
The three Western allies formed the AUKUS security alliance 18 months ago, whose name comes from its acronym in English.
Wang on Tuesday accused AUKUS countries of inciting a arms race and that your security agreement is “a typical case of war mentality cold”.
The sale of submarines “constitutes a serious risk of nuclear proliferation and violates the objectives of the Non-Proliferation Treaty,” Wang said at a press conference.
Australia announced on Monday the purchase of up to five US nuclear submarinesthen it will build a new model with American and British technology, as part of an ambitious plan to strengthen the Western position in the Asia-Pacific region in the face of the growing Chinese presence.
US President Joe Biden has pointed out that Australia will not receive nuclear weapons. However, the nuclear-powered submarines put Australia in an exclusive group and at the forefront of Washington-led efforts to repel Chinese military expansion.
Although the signatory countries did not expressly mention China, the pact is seen as an alliance to counter Beijing’s influence in the strategic Indo-Pacific region, the scene of tensions in the South China Sea and Taiwan. , which the Chinese government considers rebel territory.
This Tuesday, Russia also criticized the deal. “The Anglo-Saxon world is building bloc structures like AUKUS, advancing the NATO infrastructure in Asia and betting seriously on long years of confrontation,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in a speech in Moscow. .
The new submarines will allow Australia to join the club of nations with nuclear-powered submersibles, which includes the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, France and India, from of the next decade.
Last year, then-Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi criticized the establishment of the AUKUS alliance, saying it went “against the spirit of peace for the countries of this region”.
“The real goal of American strategy in the Pacific is to establish a version of NATO. It is a region that wants development and cooperation, it is not the chessboard of a game of chess. China rejects any attempt to create circles of influence,” he said.
(With information from AFP and EFE)