China accuses the US, UK and Australia of ‘going down a dangerous path’ with landmark nuclear deal as Security Minister Tom Tugendhat said Beijing posed a ‘threat’
China accused the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia of “going down a dangerous path” today after the historic nuclear submarine deal.
The foreign ministry in Beijing said the AUKUS agreement breached the NPT and was evidence of a “typical Cold War mentality”.
Meanwhile, Security Minister Tom Tugendhat risked stoking tensions further by insisting that China posed a “threat” – despite careful review by the government, which avoided using the word.
The row is growing after Rishi Sunak unveiled the submarine agreement alongside Joe Biden and his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese in San Diego yesterday.
Under the agreement, Britain and the United States will supply nuclear-powered submarines to Australia for the first time, enhancing its ability to counter the threat posed by China’s growing military ambitions in the Pacific.
Rishi Sunak confirmed a multi-billion pound deal with the US and Australia to help develop and build ships after meeting US President Joe Biden (centre) and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (left) at a naval base in California.
Britain’s nuclear-powered fleet of hunter-killer submarines could be doubled as part of historic deal with US and Australia
As part of the deal, military leaders are pushing to increase the size of Britain’s submarine fleet from seven to as many as 20.
The ships would not be nuclear-armed and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty allows the transfer of fissile material for non-weapon uses, such as naval propulsion, without the need for monitoring by the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency.
However, in a series of tweets, the Chinese mission to the United Nations said the move clearly violated the “object and purpose” of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
“The plan for cooperation in the field of nuclear submarines that I issued today,” Ocos “is a blatant act that poses serious nuclear proliferation risks, undermines the international non-proliferation regime, fuels arms races, and harms peace and stability in the region,” the statement read.
The Okus paradox is that two nuclear-weapon states that claim to maintain the highest non-proliferation standards are transferring tons of weapons-grade enriched uranium to a non-nuclear-weapon state, which is a clear violation of the intent and purpose of the NPT.
Such a systemic case of double standards would damage the authority and effectiveness of the international non-proliferation regime.
“We urge the three to fulfill their obligations as members of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and to heed (the will of) the international community.”
At a daily press briefing in Beijing, spokesperson Wenbin Wang said: ‘The recent joint statement by the US, UK and Australia shows that the three countries have taken further down the wrong and dangerous path for their own geopolitical self-interest, completely ignoring the situation. concerns of the international community.
At a launch ceremony at a US Naval Base in San Diego, Mr. Sunak said the AUC agreement is dedicated to keeping the oceans “free, open and prosperous” and “preserving freedom, peace and security now and for generations to come.”
The agreement is expected to create thousands of jobs at British shipyards, with the UK’s submarines being built primarily by BAE Systems of Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria and Rolls-Royce, with the US sharing critical technology for the project.
Security Minister Tom Tugendhat risked stoking tensions further by insisting that China posed a “threat” – despite government review that carefully avoided using the word
In a round of interviews this morning, Mr Tugendhat tried to assuage Tory concern that the UK’s Integrated Review published yesterday described China as a “challenge” rather than a “threat”.
He insisted that the UK “will never be ‘soft’ on Beijing.”
“No one will tell me that China is not a threat in some areas and a challenge in others,” he told the Radio Times.
What the prime minister does is talk about that big picture.
With China not just one side or one region, what we need to do as the UK is make sure we are always ready to change the way we deal with partners and the challenges around the world.’
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