China: Submarine pact “will harm regional peace”


The Government of China warned this Tuesday (03.14.2023) that the agreement on nuclear-powered submarines reached by Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom (known as AUKUS) represents a “wrong and dangerous path” that “will only fuel an arms race” and “will harm regional peace and stability.”

“The latest joint statement by the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia shows 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 community,” the spokesman said this day. Chinese diplomat, Wang Wenbin.

The three Western allies formed the AUKUS security alliance, whose name comes from its acronym in English, 18 months ago. In that framework, Australia announced on Monday the purchase of up to three Virginia-class nuclear-powered submarines from the United States during the 2030s, with the option to purchase two more if necessary. It will then build a new model using American and British technology, under an ambitious plan to strengthen the Western position in the Asia-Pacific region in the face of a growing Chinese presence.

Don’t buy nukes

“The AUKUS nuclear submarine program exudes a Cold War mentality and will only serve to fuel an arms race, undermine the international nuclear non-proliferation system and harm regional peace and stability,” Wang added. The new submarines will allow Australia to enter, starting in the next decade, the club of nations with nuclear-powered submersibles, which includes the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, France and India.

Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong rejected China’s criticism, saying it is “very clear” her country is not acquiring nuclear weapons and that “Australia’s motivation is peace.” “No one wants to see an escalation (of the tensions). Nobody wants to see a miscalculation”, the minister qualified.

In the region, countries such as the Philippines, Singapore and Japan welcomed the AUKUS, understanding that it balances defense forces, while others such as Indonesia and Malaysia have expressed reservations about the plan. Australia is expected to spend about €228.564 million over the next 30 years on the nuclear submarine program.