China on Tuesday voiced strong opposition to a deal reached on Monday between Australia, Britain and the United States, the military alliance known as Aukus, to develop a new type of nuclear-powered submarine over the next two decades. . Beijing considers the deal, announced Monday at a trilateral summit in California between US President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and the head of the Australian government…

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China on Tuesday voiced strong opposition to a deal reached on Monday between Australia, Britain and the United States, the military alliance known as Aukus, to develop a new type of nuclear-powered submarine over the next two decades. . Beijing considers that the agreement, announced Monday at a trilateral summit in California between US President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, “only encourages a race weapons development,” according to Wang Wenbin, a spokesman for the Chinese government. Ministry of Foreign Affairs, assured this Tuesday in a routine appearance. For Washington, London and Canberra, it is, on the other hand, a movement that aims to increase the group’s deterrence capacity in Asia-Pacific in the face of a China that modernizes its fleet in forced march.

“This is a typical Cold War mentality, which will only fuel an arms race, undermine the international nuclear non-proliferation system, and undermine regional peace and stability,” said spokesman Wang. the Aukus agreement came into force, which aims to modernize the People’s Liberation Army to transform it into a “great wall of steel” capable of guaranteeing national sovereignty and the country’s development.

China views the presence of the US and its allies in the region with growing concern. In recent days, both Xi and the country’s new foreign minister, Qin Gang, have expressed their firm rejection of what they see as a Washington-led “crackdown and containment” strategy being carried out in various fields ranging from the blockade from selling advanced semiconductors to China to strengthening US ties with other countries in the region, such as Japan or the Philippines. Qin went so far as to assure in his appearance that if the United States does not “step on the brakes”, they run the risk of reaching “conflict”.

The deal to build submarines is the far-reaching initiative announced by this tripartite alliance sealed in September 2021 to combine military strategies and capabilities in Asia. In the first phase, now underway, British and American submarines will travel to Australia for training exercises. From now on, Canberra will start building facilities to produce and house new ships and those of its two allies. In 2027, a US-UK submarine force will rotate to Australia. In the next phase, the second, in the early 2030s, when Canberra retires its fleet of diesel submarines, parallel to the development of the new vessel, Australia will acquire three Virginia-class nuclear submarines from the US that are already under construction, with the possibility to buy two more. At the end of that decade, phase three will begin, with the construction of a new submarine, the SSN Aukus.

“Our agreement on Aukus is part of our shared commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Biden said Monday in a brief appearance at the Point Loma naval base in San Diego, alongside a US nuclear submarine. Sunak highlighted among the “challenges” China’s “increasing aggressiveness” and the “destabilizing behavior of Iran and North Korea” that “threaten to create a world defined by danger, disorder and division”. In view of this reality, added the British Prime Minister, “it is more important than ever that we reinforce the resilience of our own countries”.

China’s diplomatic mission to the United Nations also immediately spoke out against what it considers “a flagrant act that constitutes a serious risk of nuclear proliferation, undermines the international non-proliferation system, fuels the arms race and undermines peace and stability in the region.” ”, as published on social networks on Tuesday. In his statement, he highlights the “irony” that two states with nuclear weapons (the United States and the United Kingdom) transfer tons of enriched uranium for weapons to another state without weapons nuclear weapons, “clearly violating the object and purpose of the [Tratado de no proliferación]” .

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In the midst of this renewed geopolitical tension, with nuances of a new cold war, is the volatile situation of Taiwan, the autonomous island that China considers an inalienable part of its territory and to which the US supplies arms. An August visit to the enclave by then-Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi angered Beijing, which responded with military drills of unknown intensity in the waters of the Taiwan Strait. Relations with Washington reached a low point, rose in November after a meeting between Presidents Biden and Xi at the G-20 summit in Bali (Indonesia), but deteriorated again in February, after the White House ordered the slaughter from a Chinese balloon that he had entered American soil without permission.

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