THE UK, US and Australia have announced a security pact in the Asia-Pacific, to step up their war against China. China’s embassy in Washington reacted by accusing the countries of a ‘Cold War mentality and ideological prejudice’.
China has condemned the agreement as ‘extremely irresponsible’ with foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian saying it ‘seriously undermines regional peace and stability and intensifies the arms race’.
The pact also created a blazing row with France, which has now lost a deal with Australia to build 12 submarines. ‘It’s really a stab in the back,’ France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told France Info radio.
Outlining the new imperialist alliance in Parliament yesterday, Tory PM Johnson said: ‘Australia has for the first time taken the momentous decision to acquire a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines. They have asked for our help in achieving this ambition. I am delighted to tell the House that we have agreed to this request and we shall place the UK’s expertise in this field amassed over decades for the assistance of our Australian friends.
‘The first task before us will now be an 18 month trilateral collaboration to determine the best way of delivering advanced nuclear submarines for Australia.
‘Emphasising of course that they will be powered by nuclear reactors not armed with nuclear weapons. So that the nuclear-non proliferation agreement places no prohibition on this work.
‘The House will understand how Australia’s future possession of this capability will help to safeguard the peace and security of the Indo-Pacific.
‘Nuclear submarines are the capital ships of our age, propelled by an effectively inexhaustible source of energy, allowing them to circumnavigate the world without surfacing, deriving oxygen and fresh water from the sea around them.
‘While on patrol, they keep silent watch over vast expanses of ocean protecting shipping, gathering intelligence, deterring adversaries and guarding the trade routes on which our livelihoods depend.
He added: ‘Today the UK and Australia defend the same interests, promote the same values and face the same threats.
‘We are as closely aligned in international policy as any two countries in the world.
‘Australia, the UK the US will become inseparable partners in a project that will last for decades.’
Welcoming the new arrangement, Labour leader Keir Starmer said: ‘The recent events in Afghanistan show how precarious the international stability can be. New challenges can emerge and issues in far away corners of the globe can quickly turn into threats at home.
‘So Labour welcomes increased cooperation with our allies.
‘The Strategic Review identified China as a systemic competitor. China’s assertiveness does pose risks to UK interests in a secure Pacific region, in stable trading environments and in democracy and human rights. We need to deal with those risks, defend our values and defend our interests.
‘In order to protect our security and interests we also need to look after our broader alliances.
‘NATO remains our most important strategic alliance, also the most successful, so what measures has the Prime Minister put in place to ensure that our relationship with NATO is strengthened and funds are not diverted?’