China cautions Australia against AUKUS submarine cooperation
March 10, 2023
Photo: Defence Connect
The People’s Republic of China has cautioned Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom of “Cold War mentality” and “nuclear proliferation risks” in relation to the AUKUS agreement.
Unconfirmed speculation indicates an AUKUS announcement could be made by US President Joe Biden, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in San Diego on 13 March.
That announcement could include supply of UK or US nuclear submarines and technology to Australia.
PRC Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning made comments cautioning against pursuing nuclear submarine cooperation, during a regular press conference on 9 March this year.
“China has made clear its strong position on nuclear submarine cooperation between the US, the UK, and Australia on multiple occasions,” she said.
“This trilateral cooperation constitutes serious nuclear proliferation risks, undermines the international non-proliferation system, exacerbates arms race, and hurts peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific.
“It has been widely questioned and opposed by regional countries and the wider international community.
“We urge the US, the UK, and Australia to abandon the Cold War mentality and zero-sum games, honour international obligations in good faith, and do more things that are conducive to regional peace and stability.”