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Chinese FM Spokesperson: The US-UK-Australia Submarine Cooperation will Create Huge Security Risks Like Opening the Pandora's Box

2021-10-21

At a regular press conference of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China on 19 October, spokesperson Wang Wenbin answered a question on the concerns of Malaysia and Indonesia about the US-UK-Australia submarine cooperation.

Journalist: It is reported that in the joint press conference after talks, Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah and Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said the two countries are deeply concerned about Australia's development of nuclear submarines under the AUKUS trilateral security partnership. What is China's comment?

Wang Wenbin: I have noticed relevant reports. The statements of Malaysia and Indonesia have reflected the concerns widely shared among regional countries. The AUKUS trilateral security partnership and the nuclear submarine cooperation create nuclear proliferation risks, undermine the international non-proliferation system and undercut the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty and ASEAN countries' efforts to build a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (NWFZ) in Southeast Asia. If forced through, they will create huge security risks like opening the Pandora's Box, which also means a regression in history.

The AUKUS trilateral security partnership embodies the Cold War mentality, double standards and contempt of rules with a clear political agenda. It aims to introduce major-power confrontation and blocs politics into the region, provoke bloc confrontation and force regional countries to take sides. It aims to undermine the ASEAN-centered regional cooperation architecture with the outdated Cold War mentality and compromise regional prosperity and stability. It aims to build US-centered rules and order in the region to maintain US dominance and hegemonic system. It aims to challenge the international nuclear non-proliferation system, of which the NPT is the cornerstone, to serve US geopolitical self-interests.

It is China's belief that the ASEAN-centered regional cooperation architecture is consistent with East Asian tradition and realistic needs. It effectively promotes peace and development in the region and should therefore be cherished and carried forward by all parties. Any erroneous practices that weaken and hollow ASEAN centrality, undermine the good momentum of regional cooperation and dialogue, and create division and stoke confrontation in the region will be guarded against and opposed by regional countries and the international community.

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