News ID: 113382
Publish Date : 14 March 2023 - 21:48

China: U.S.-Led Military Bloc ‘Down Path of Danger’

BEIJING (Dispatches) -- China’s
foreign ministry said on Tuesday in the pursuit of selfish geopolitical interests, Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States have disregarded concerns of the international community and gone further down a dangerous road.
Spokesperson Wang Wenbin made the comments at a regular news briefing when asked about the United States, Australia and Britain planning to provide Australia with nuclear-powered attack submarines.
“The latest joint statement from the U.S., UK and Australia demonstrates that the three countries, for the sake of their own geopolitical interests, completely disregard the concerns of the international communities and are walking further and further down the path of error and danger,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said.
Australia announced on Monday it would buy up to five U.S. nuclear-powered submarines, then build a new model with U.S. and British technology under an ambitious plan to bulk up Western muscle across the Asia-Pacific in the face of a rising China.
U.S. 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 be getting nuclear weapons.
However, acquiring submarines powered by nuclear reactors puts Australia in an elite club and at the forefront of U.S.-led efforts confront China.
Wang accused the three Western allies on Tuesday of inciting an arms race, saying the security deal was “a typical case of Cold War mentality”.
The sale of submarines “constitutes a severe nuclear proliferation risk, and violates the aims and objectives of the Non-Proliferation Treaty,” Wang said at a regular news conference.
Australia’s nuclear-powered submarine program will cost up to A$368 billion ($245 billion) over the next three decades, a defense official said on Tuesday, the country’s biggest single military project in history.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the program would start with a A$6 billion ($4 billion) investment over the next four years to expand a major submarine base and the country’s submarine shipyards, as well as train skilled workers.
Australia will also provide A$3 billion to expand shipbuilding capacity in the U.S. and Britain, with the bulk of the money destined to speed up production of U.S. Virginia-class submarines.
The total cost of the submarine program is estimated to be A$268 billion to A$368 billion by 2055, or roughly 0.15% of gross domestic product per year, a defense official told Reuters.