CHINA has continued to blast the new AUKUS security pact between the United States, United Kingdom and Australia amid talks with Washington.
China’s Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, criticised AUKUS as threatening peace and regional stability. His comments come after discussions with the EU, according to a Chinese foreign ministry statement.
A spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry, Hua Chunying, said: “China has its own judgment on whether Australia is really sincere in improving and developing its relations with China.”
Ms Hua questioned “whether it [Australia] is saying one thing while doing another behind the scene, or even blatantly stabbing in the back,” according to Australian news outlet ABC news.
Pentagon spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Martin Meiners said in a statement on Wednesday that the United States and China “held a frank, in-depth, and open discussion on a range of issues affecting the US-PRC defense relationship.”
He added: “The meeting is an important component of the Biden-Harris Administration’s ongoing effort to responsibly manage the competition between the U.S. and the PRC by maintaining open lines of communication with the PRC.”
Lt. Col. Meiners continued: “Both sides reaffirmed consensus to keep communication channels open.
“The U.S. side also made clear our commitment to uphold shared principles with our allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region.”
China has previously called the AUKUS security pact a show of “Cold War” mentality which would damage the interests of the nations involved.
They called AUKUS “extremely irresponsible”, and a partnership which “seriously undermines regional peace and stability.”
Although not explicitly said by any of the leaders, it is widely thought that the AUKUS pact was a response from the UK, USA and Australia to China’s expansionism, and policies towards Taiwan.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, writing in the Telegraph earlier this month, defended the pact as showing a “readiness to be hard-headed in defending our interests and challenging unfair practices and malign acts.”
The AUKUS agreement will provide Australia with nuclear-powered submarines, making Australia the seventh country in the world to have access to such technology.
The announcement by US President Joe Biden, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison sparked an instant backlash from China, France and other European nations.
The provision of nuclear submarines to Australia meant the cancellation of a pre-existing deal between Australia and France for a fleet of conventional submarines worth $90 billion. “Brinkwire Summary News”.