torsdag 16. september 2021

China warns US-UK-Australia pact could ‘hurt their own interests’

China has told the US, the UK and Australia to abandon their “cold war” mentality or risk harming their own interests after the three countries unveiled a new defence cooperation pact. The trilateral security partnership, named Aukus, was announced on Thursday by the three nations’ leaders via video link, and will include an 18-month plan to provide Australia with nuclear-powered submarines. It drew strong political reaction domestically in Australia and the UK, and from France, whose existing $90bn (£65bn) submarine contract with Australia has now come to an abrupt end.

While none of the three western leaders involved mentioned China, the arrangement is widely understood to be in response to Beijing’s expansionism and aggression in the South China Sea and towards Taiwan. The US president, Joe Biden, spoke of the need to maintain a “free and open Indo-Pacific” and to address the region’s “current strategic environment”.