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Embassy hits out at UK, US, Australia pact

2021-09-16 HKT 06:19
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  • Joe Biden is joined virtually by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson for the announcements of the new three-way pact with Australia. Photo: AP
    Joe Biden is joined virtually by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson for the announcements of the new three-way pact with Australia. Photo: AP
China’s Washington embassy reacted to a new security pact announced by the United States, Britain and Australia on Wednesday by saying that countries should "shake off their Cold-War mentality and ideological prejudice".

The United States, Britain and Australia said on Wednesday they would establish a security partnership for the Indo-Pacific that will involve helping Australia acquire nuclear-powered submarines.

Asked to comment, Chinese embassy spokesman Liu Pengyu said countries "should not build exclusionary blocs targeting or harming the interests of third parties. In particular, they should shake off their Cold-War mentality and ideological prejudice."

Under the partnership, announced by US President Joe Biden, British Prime Minster Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, the United States will provide Australia with the technology and capability to deploy nuclear-powered submarines, senior US administration officials told reporters.

The three leaders outlined the deal in a three-way virtual announcement from each of their capitals.

"We all recognise the imperative of ensuring peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific for the long term," said Biden.

Morrison said the submarines would be built in Adelaide in close cooperation with the United States and United Kingdom. Australia will not be fielding nuclear weapons, he said.

"We will continue to meet all our nuclear non-proliferation obligations," he said.

Johnson called it a momentous decision for Australia to acquire the technology. He said it would make the world safer. "This will be one of the most complex and technically demanding projects in the world," he said.

The US officials stressed that the move, which comes as Washington and its allies are looking for ways to push back against China, would not involve provision of nuclear weapons to Australia.

The officials said the partnership, which will also involve cooperation in areas including artificial intelligence, quantum technology and cyber, was "not aimed at any one country."

"This is a historic announcement. It reflects the Biden administration's determination to build stronger partnerships to sustain peace and stability across the entire Indo-Pacific region," one of the officials said. (Reuters)
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Last updated: 2021-09-16 HKT 06:45