To say that US-China relations are strained is an understatement. American lawmakers are deeply concerned about China’s threats against Taiwan, its continued theft of intellectual property, human rights violations against Uyghurs, and possible collaboration with Russia.
The United States will form a partnership with the United Kingdom and Australia in 2021. America has agreed to provide the Australian government with three nuclear-powered submarines by the early 2030s as part of the agreement. The agreement infuriated China, prompting the country to issue a threat.
The White House issued a statement on March 13 regarding the latest developments in the Australia-United Kingdom-United States (AUKUS) partnership. According to President Joe Biden’s administration, as part of the security partnership, the US will allow Australia to acquire the subs. According to the statement, the agreement will “lift all three nations’ submarine industrial bases and undersea capabilities, enhancing deterrence and promoting Indo-Pacific stability.”
The United Kingdom also issued a statement in honor of the launch of the first major AUKUS initiative. Allowing Australia to obtain the submarines, according to the US ally, will ensure the country’s ability to “maintain a critical edge in the underwater domain for decades to come.”
On March 13, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese joined President Biden and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at Naval Base Point in San Diego, according to Fox News. The submarine deal, he said, was the “largest single investment in Australia’s defense capabilities” in the country’s history.
On March 14, China issued a statement in which it stated that the United States and its allies are on a “dangerous path.” The Chinese then accused the three countries of having a “typical Cold War mentality that will only fuel an arms race.” Furthermore, they believe the submarine deal violates the 1970 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and will jeopardize peace and stability.
Biden, ironically, addressed the Chinese government during the AUKUS meeting. He stated that he did not believe Chinese President Xi Jinping would regard the agreement as an act of aggression. He promised the American people that he would meet with Xi in the future.
According to The Guardian, According to Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry, the AUKUS nations are ignoring the international community’s concerns about the nuclear-powered submarines and are continuing on a “path of error and danger.” The Chinese have also accused the United States and its allies of applying a double standard, presumably because they have attempted to prevent dangerous nations from acquiring nuclear weapons.