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China denounces US-UK-Australia pact as irresponsible

September 17, 2021 10:04 am
[Source: BBC]

China has criticised a historic security pact between the US, UK and Australia, describing it as “extremely irresponsible” and “narrow-minded”.

The deal will see the US and UK give Australia the technology to build nuclear-powered submarines for the first time.

It is being widely viewed as an effort to counter China’s influence in the contested South China Sea.

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The region has been a flashpoint for years and tensions there remain high.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the alliance risked “severely damaging regional peace… and intensifying the arms race”.

He criticised what he called “the obsolete Cold War… mentality” and warned the three countries were “hurting their own interests”.

Chinese state media carried similar editorials denouncing the pact, and one in the Global Times newspaper said Australia had now “turned itself into an adversary of China”.

The US is sharing its submarine technology for the first time in 50 years, having previously only shared it with the UK.

It means Australia will now be able to build nuclear-powered submarines that are faster and harder to detect than conventionally powered fleets. They can stay submerged for months and shoot missiles longer distances – although Australia says it has no intention of putting nuclear weapons on them.

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