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Wang Yi: U.S.-Britain-Australia Nuclear Submarine Cooperation Poses Three Hidden Dangers

On September 28, 2021, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell Fontelles co-chaired the 11th round of China-EU high-level strategic dialogue via video link.

Wang Yi said that the tripartite security partnership among the United States, Britain and Australia and their planned nuclear submarine cooperation have drawn close attention and vigilance of the international community, especially Asia-Pacific countries. Many countries have expressed their concerns and doubts. China believes this move will bring three hidden dangers to regional peace and stability and the international order:

First, it will bring the hidden danger of a resurgence of the Cold War. The three countries have drawn ideological lines and built a new military bloc, which will aggravate geographical tensions. Against the backdrop of worldwide opposition against Cold War and division, the United States blatantly violated its policy statement of not seeking a new Cold War, and ganged up to form an Anglo-Saxon clique. Putting its own geological gains above global solidarity is a typical Cold War mentality.

Second, it will cause the hidden danger of an arms race, prompting some regional countries to step up their military build-up or even break the nuclear threshold, thus increasing the risks of military conflict. The United States imposed sanctions against some countries on the ground of developing nuclear technology while openly transferring nuclear technologies to nuclear-free countries. This is typical double standards.

Third, it will pose the hidden danger of nuclear proliferation. Provisioning nuclear-free countries with weapons-usable nuclear materials on the ground of building nuclear-powered submarines will let weapons-grade highly enriched uranium escape necessary regulation, thus bringing significant risks to nuclear proliferation. It will affect the nuclear non-proliferation system, damage the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty and undermine the efforts of ASEAN countries to establish a nuclear-free zone in the region. This is typical flouting of rules.

Wang Yi stressed that while United States, Britain and Australia were enhancing military connections and exacerbating bloc confrontation, China put forward the Global Development Initiative and formally applied to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. Who is fueling conflict and confrontation, endangering peace and stability, and who is promoting regional integration and advancing peace and stability? These contrasting behaviors are easy to distinguish. We urge the three countries to follow the trend of the times, get back on the right track and play a constructive role in regional peace and stability.

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