Australian news, and some related international items

US and UK must stop’: Chinese diplomat warns New Zealand audience of Australia’s nuclear ambitions

US and UK must stop’: Chinese diplomat warns New Zealand audience of Australia’s nuclear ambitions, Stuff, Thomas Manch , Nov 02 2021 A senior Chinese diplomat has warned a New Zealand audience that Australia will not only acquire nuclear-powered submarines in the coming decades, but nuclear weapons.

And it was claimed Australia’s purchase of nuclear-powered submarines would mean “more nuclear arms race … more nuclear tests, and nuclear pollution” in the Pacific.

China’s deputy chief of mission in New Zealand, Wang Genhua, made the claim about Australia’s nuclear ambitions during an event about the new defence pact between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States – dubbed AUKUS – on Monday evening.

“Australia is going to own nuclear-powered submarines. It will be almost necessary for them to equip nuclear weapons as the next step. The step just couldn’t be prevented,” 

The AUKUS pact, announced in September, has Australia acquiring nuclear-powered submarines from the UK and US in the coming decades, in a bid to counter China’s growing influence in the Asia-Pacific region. The move grates against New Zealand’s anti-nuclear stance.

China, which has expanded its footprint into the contested waters of the South China Sea, was quick to condemn the AUKUS pact as irresponsible, “Cold War zero-sum mentality” that would undermine peace in the region.

The comments from Wang come as the fallout from AUKUS continues, with French President Emmanuel Macron accusing Australia’s Scott Morrison of lying about the deal.

Morrison, along with US and UK leaders, have insisted the nuclear-powered submarines Australia intended to acquire in the coming decades would only be equipped with conventional (non-nuclear) weapons, and the countries’ nuclear proliferation obligations will be met…………

November 2, 2021 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international

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