China slams Australia-US-UK nuclear pact, says 'will closely monitor pact, can aggravate arms race'
Lijian went on to say that China will keep a careful eye on the issue. China has long believed that any regional mechanism should follow the current trend of peace and development and be favourable to regional nations' confidence and cooperation.
China slammed the US, UK, and Australia's trilateral military alliance, saying it will closely monitor the agreement, which it claims will jeopardise regional security, exacerbate the arms race, and jeopardise international non-proliferation efforts.
Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for China's Foreign Ministry, made the remarks after the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia announced a new trilateral security alliance for the Indo-Pacific to combat 21st-century threats. The alliance would also allow for greater sharing of defence capabilities, including helping Australia acquire nuclear-powered submarines. Under the historic deal, Australia will be aided in building nuclear-powered submarines for the first time, using American technology, to offset China's increasing strength and military presence in the strategically crucial area.
The AUKUS agreement will also include artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and quantum technology. "The US, the UK, and Australia are participating in a collaboration in nuclear-powered submarines that seriously undermines regional peace and security, aggravates arms race, and harms international non-proliferation efforts," Lijian said when asked about his reaction to the trilateral military deal.
"Australia is set to get susceptible nuclear-powered submarine technology from the United States and the United Kingdom. This demonstrates that they are again using nuclear exports as geopolitical chess pieces and adopting double standards, which is highly irresponsible," he stated. "Australia is a nuclear-weapons-free country that is a signatory to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and the Southern Pacific Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone. It is now importing nuclear-powered submarine technology, which has significant military implications," Lijian spoke at a press conference here.
He said the international community, including the neighbouring countries, has raised questions on its commitment to nuclear non-perforation. Lijian went on to say that China will keep a careful eye on the issue. China has long believed that any regional mechanism should follow the current trend of peace and development and be favourable to regional nations' confidence and cooperation. He said that forming an exclusive and closed clique or tiny group goes against the current trend and the aspirations of limited countries. The launch of AUKUS comes only a week before US President Biden hosts a summit of Quad leaders in Washington on September 24. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will all be present.