The submarine agreement between the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom worries China: “It is a wrong and dangerous path”

The presidents Anthony Albanese, Joe Biden and Rishi Sunak, of the AUKUS alliance (Leon Neal / Pool via AP) (Leon Neal /)

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 by the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia demonstrates that the three countries are moving more and more down a wrong and dangerous path, thinking of their own interests and belittling the concern of the international communitysaid Chinese diplomatic spokesman Wang Wenbin.

The three Western allies formed the AUKUS security alliance, whose name comes from its acronym in English, 18 months ago.

Wang on Tuesday accused the 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 severe risk of nuclear proliferation and violates the objectives of the Non-Proliferation Treaty,” Wang told a press conference.

Australia announced on Monday the purchase of up to five US nuclear-powered submarinesand then it will build a new model with American and British technology, under an ambitious plan to strengthen the Western position in the Asia-Pacific region in the face of the growing Chinese presence.

Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, right, meets with US President Joe Biden and Prime Minister of Australia Anthony Albanese, left, at Point Loma naval base in San Diego, US, Monday March 13, 2023, as part of Aukus, a trilateral security pact between Australia, the UK, and the US.  (Stefan Rousseau/Pool via AP)
The announcement at the Point Loma naval base in San Diego (via AP) (Stefan Rousseau /)

US President Joe Biden stressed that Australia will not receive nuclear weapons. However, 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 have not expressly mentioned China, the pact is considered an alliance to counteract Beijing’s influence in the strategic Indo-Pacific region, the scene of tensions in the South China Sea and in Taiwan, which the Chinese government considers a rebel territory.

This Tuesday, Russia also criticized the agreement. “The Anglo-Saxon world is building bloc structures like AUKUS, advancing NATO’s infrastructure in Asia, and seriously betting 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, starting in the next decade.

Last year, the then Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, criticized the creation of the AUKUS alliance, saying that it goes “against the spirit of peace for the countries of that region.”

“The real goal of the US strategy in the Pacific is to establish a version of NATO. This is a region that wants development and cooperation, it is not the board of a game of chess. China rejects any attempt to create circles of influence,” he said.

(With information from AFP and EFE)

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