The United Kingdom, the United States and Australia have “gone further down a wrong and dangerous road” with their nuclear submarines agreement, a spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry said Tuesday.
The agreement “completely ignored the concerns of the international community,” Wang Wenbin said at a press briefing, according to CNN.
The deal will “stimulate an arms race, undermine the international nuclear non-proliferation system and damage regional peace and stability,” he added.
On Monday, U.S. President Joe Biden announced his intention to sell five nuclear-powered submarines to Australia, after meeting with the British and Australian prime ministers at a naval base in San Diego, California.
The move is part of the broader “AUKUS” alliance, which aims at strengthening the U.S., British and Australian presence in the Indo-Pacific — mostly to counter the rise of China in the region.
Asked Monday if China would consider the submarines deal as an act of aggression, Biden said “no,” according to Reuters.
Responding to the remarks for the Chinese foreign ministry, a spokesperson for U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said Tuesday: “The AUKUS program is not about any one country.”