|Chinese FM Spokesperson: Nuclear Submarine Cooperation between US, UK and Australia Has Seriously Undermined Regional Peace and Stability|
At a regular press conference of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China on 16 September, spokesperson Zhao Lijian answered a question about the nuclear submarine cooperation between the US, the UK and Australia.
Journalist: The US, UK and Australia announced a new military partnership which would provide Australia with nuclear powered submarines. Some people say that this is designed to counter China's influence in the Indo-Pacific. What's your response?
Zhao Lijian: The nuclear submarine cooperation between the US, the UK and Australia has seriously undermined regional peace and stability, intensified the arms race and undermined international non-proliferation efforts. The export of highly sensitive nuclear submarine technology to Australia by the US and the UK proves once again that they are using nuclear exports as a tool for geopolitical game and adopting double standards. This is extremely irresponsible. As a non-nuclear weapon state under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and a party to the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone (SPNFZ) Treaty, known as the Treaty of Rarotonga, Australia is now introducing nuclear submarine technology of strategic and military value. The international community, including Australia's neighboring countries, has full reason to question whether Australia is serious about fulfilling its nuclear non-proliferation commitments. China will pay close attention to the development of the relevant situation.
China always believes that any regional mechanism should conform to the trend of peace and development of the times and contribute to enhancing mutual trust and cooperation among regional countries. It should not target any third party or undermine its interests. Seeking closed and exclusive clique runs counter to the trend of the times and the aspirations of countries in the region, which finds no support and leads nowhere.
Relevant countries should abandon the outdated Cold War zero-sum mentality and narrow-minded geopolitical perception, respect the will of the people of regional countries and do more to contribute to regional peace, stability and development. Otherwise, they will only end up shooting themselves in the foot.