Sep 17 , 2021. 14 hours ago – 19:25 KYODO NEWS
BEIJING – China on Thursday lambasted the launch of a new security partnership between the United States, Britain and Australia, aimed at countering the Asian power’s assertiveness, for “seriously” jeopardizing regional peace and stability.
As the three countries have also paved the way for Australia to obtain nuclear-powered submarines, the move has “intensified the arms race and undermined international nuclear non-proliferation efforts,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters.
“The closed and exclusive small bloc would go against the trend of the times and run counter to the wishes of the regional nations,” Zhao said.
The Global Times, a tabloid of the Chinese Communist Party, said in its editorial on Thursday, “As Washington stirs up great power competition, more regions will be involved in rising tensions.”
“If the U.S. and the U.K. help Australia acquire the cruising capability of nuclear-powered submarines, this will effectively legalize the acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines by all countries,” the newspaper added.
The latest development comes as Sino-U.S. strains have been escalating over several matters including Beijing’s alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang, the crackdown on democracy in Hong Kong, and security challenges to Taiwan and the South China Sea.
Britain, meanwhile, has been stepping up its engagement in the region such as through the deployment of its aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth, while Australia and China have seen their relations increasingly sour over disputes on trade and other issues.
Cr. KYODO NEWS