“Obsolete zero-sum cold war mentality”
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian criticized a new defense pact announced between the Australian, US and UK governments at a press conference Thursday.
“Nuclear submarine cooperation between the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia has seriously undermined regional peace and stability, intensified the arms race and undermined international non-proliferation efforts,” Zhao said. in response to a question from AFP.
“The countries concerned should abandon the obsolete zero-sum cold war mentality and narrow-minded geopolitical perception,” Zhao added. “Otherwise, they’ll just end up shooting themselves in the foot. “
Zhao’s comments came after the United States announced it would help Australia build nuclear-powered submarines, using technology never shared with the United Kingdom. Australia will not seek nuclear weapons under the deal; the submarines will be equipped with conventional weapons.
The French government also tore up the deal because Australia simultaneously withdrew from a $ 66 billion deal to buy French non-nuclear submarines.
The “brutal, unilateral and unpredictable decision” brought back memories of relations with the Trump administration, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told Franceinfo in comments translated by the New York Times. “It doesn’t happen between allies.
The French Embassy in Washington issued its own statement condemning the move. In addition, France canceled a gala scheduled for Friday at the embassy to commemorate the 240th anniversary of the Battle of the Caps, when the French and British navies fought in Chesapeake Bay during the War of Independence.