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China warns AUKUS allies on ‘path of error and danger’ with submarine pact

China has warned that Australia, Britain and the United States were treading a “path of error and danger” after they unveiled a nuclear-powered submarines deal.

Wang Wenbin, China’s foreign ministry spokesman, said on Tuesday: “The latest joint statement from the US, 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”.

Wang accused the three Western allies 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 in Beijing.

Australia offered China a briefing over its nuclear-powered submarine deal with the United States and Britain.

The government has made more than 60 calls over the last week to leaders including in the Pacific and southeast Asia to inform them about the agreement, known as the AUKUS pact, Defence Minister Richard Marles said on Tuesday during a televised media briefing.

US, Britain unveil nuclear-powered submarine plan for Australia

Russia accuses West of provocation

Moscow, which has sought to shore up its ties with China, also accused the West of fomenting “years of confrontation” in the Asia-Pacific region.

“The Anglo-Saxon world, with the creation of structures like AUKUS and with the advancement of NATO military infrastructures into Asia, is making a serious bet on many years of confrontation,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in televised comments on Tuesday.

US President Joe Biden, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Tuesday unveiled details of a plan to provide Australia with nuclear-powered attack submarines, a major step to counter China’s ambitions in the Indo-Pacific.

Biden, Sunak, Albanese expected to announce landmark nuclear submarine deal

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