China warned on Tuesday that Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States were following a “path of error and danger” after unveiling a deal on nuclear-powered submarines.
“The latest joint statement from the United States, United Kingdom and Australia demonstrates that the three countries, in the name of their own geopolitical interests, are completely ignoring the concerns of the international communities and are increasingly walking the path of error and danger,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said.
Australia announced on Monday it would buy up to five US nuclear submarines and then build a new model with US and UK technology as part of an ambitious plan to build Western muscle across Asia -Pacific facing the rise of China.
US President Joe Biden has stressed that Australia, which joined a newly formed alliance with Washington and London known as AUKUS 18 months ago, will not get nuclear weapons.
However, the acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines puts Australia in an elite club and at the forefront of US-led efforts to stave off Chinese military expansion.
Wang on Tuesday accused the three Western allies of inciting an arms race, saying the security deal was “a typical case of Cold War mentality”.
The sale of submarines “constitutes a serious nuclear proliferation risk and violates the aims and objectives of the Non-Proliferation Treaty”, Wang said at a regular press conference.
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