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China: Aukus pact would make Australia a potential target for a nuclear strike
Under the deal, the US and the UK will equip Australian navy with a fleet of nuclear-submarines to “sustain peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region”. The three leaders expressed grave concern over a threat to regional security "grown significantly" but without naming China. Reacting to the deal, a Global Times editorial said: "The Australian troops are the most likely to be the first ... to waste their lives in the South China Sea." If Donald Trump or a Trump-like President returns to the White House one day, this alliance could bring unpredictable and catastrophic consequences, said a Chinese commentator.

WASHINGTON, Sept 17: The US, UK and Australia have entered into a defence pact to ensure the security of Indo-Pacific region against any machinations of expansionist China. Under the deal, the US and the UK will help Australia with their technology to build nuclear-powered submarines.

The Chinese Foreign Minister has criticised the agreement called Aukus treaty as an "irresponsible act" intensifying arms race. (Aukus is abbreviation of Australia, United Kingdom and United States).

A Chinese Foeign Ministry spokesperson, Zhao Lijian, remarked that it "will end up hurting their own interests" while Chinese military experts warned that "Australia could be targeted." A Chinese Global Times editorial predicted: "The Australian troops are the most likely to be the first batch of Western soldiers to waste their lives in the South China Sea."

The pact was announced in a joint statement released on Thursday by Boris Johnson, US President Joe Biden and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. It said the deal will “sustain peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region”.

In a virtual press conference, the three leaders expressed grave concern over a threat to regional security "grown significantly" but without naming China.

There is concern among the big powers over Chinese expansionism, its pressure over Taiwan and maritime rights assertion in South China Sea.

Morrison said the ageement will make Australia the world's seventh country to have nuclear-powered submarine. He said the assembly of the fleet will begin in the next 18 months.

Nuclear-powered submarines can operate undetected for long periods of time and that gives the navy an edge, although it is not necessarily nuclear-armed.

Reacting to the pact, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the three countries were “severely damaging regional peace and stability, intensifying an arms race, and damaging international nuclear non-proliferation efforts”.

Zhao Lijian said the Aukus deal supplying Australia with nuclear submarines "seriously damages regional peace and stability, intensifies the arms race, and undermines the treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons."

He said this alliance driven by extreme hostility against China could seriously worsen the security situation in the Asia-Pacific region.

There were comments in Chinese official press that the nuke sub deal could make Australia a 'potential nuclear war target,' Aukus puts Australia in danger, Morrison’s ambition will 'bring disaster.'

Chinese military experts said the US, UK and Australia have announced a new alliance named "Aukus to target China, and they even made a deal to provide nuclear submarines to Australia. They warned that such a move will potentially make Australia a target of a nuclear strike if a nuclear war breaks out even when Washington said it won't arm Canberra with nuclear weapons, because it's easy for the US to equip Australia with nuclear weapons and submarine-launched ballistic missiles when Australia has the submarines.

'Aukus is an alliance to contain China'

Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Thursday that Aukus is at the core of the US alliance system to contain China with extreme hostility, and it should not be underestimated. If Donald Trump or a Trump-like President returns to the White House one day, this alliance could bring unpredictable and catastrophic consequences.

A senior Chinese military expert told Global Times, "the country will potentially pose a nuclear threat to other countries, "because it's easy for the US and the UK to deploy nuclear weapons and submarine-launched ballistic missiles on the Australian submarines if they believe it's necessary, and Biden and Morrison's promises of 'not seeking nuclear weapons' are meaningless." This would make Australia a potential target for a nuclear strike, he said.

Already there is an alliance called Five Eyes that includes Canada and New Zealand too and includes other technologies. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reportedly said on Thursday that Australia's new nuclear-powered submarines would not be allowed in New Zealand's territorial waters.

It has been said the UK is on the move for a Global Britain, the way it sent its aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth to South China Sea in july last. A US officail had said the UK is pushing for a heightened role in the region.

Taiwan and Japan have welcomed the pact.

With the Aukus agreement, Australia's 2016 deal with French ship-builder Naval Group for a new submarine fleet comes to an end, whipping up a strong reaction in the Governmnet there. The contract for 12 submarines with the French firm was for $90 billion. “It was really a stab in the back. We built a relationship of trust with Australia, and this trust was betrayed,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said.

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