According to World time, a newspaper considered a spokesperson for the Communist Party in Beijing, Chinese military experts fear the ships will be equipped with nuclear arsenal, despite assurances that they will only carry conventional weapons.
Chinese military experts have reportedly warned of a potential attack on Australia because, claims the World time, it would be relatively easy for Washington and London to equip ships with nuclear-headed ballistic missiles.
In the report, an anonymous senior military expert claims that only nuclear-weapon states have nuclear-powered submarines and their role is to launch nuclear missiles in the event of war.
The sources said the assurances from Joe Biden and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison about nuclear weapons were “meaningless”.
It would be “easy for the United States and the United Kingdom to deploy nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles launched by submarines on Australian submarines,” said the unnamed military figure.
In another story, the state-backed publication, which often uses colorful invectives and is used to swing the sword against perceived enemies, warned Australia could be targeted as a warning to others if it acts “With bravado” in allegiance to the United States, or for being “militarily affirmed”.
“Thus, Australian troops are also the most likely to be the first group of Western soldiers to lose their lives in the South China Sea,” he said.
In reality, there is no likelihood that the Chinese government will launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike against Australia because it is acquiring a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines. India, a country that has recently been embroiled in armed clashes with China, has long operated nuclear-powered submarines in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
The agreement between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States, however, drew criticism from the allies as well as from China. The deal, struck quickly and largely in secret, means France will lose a $ 90 billion (£ 65 billion) contract to build diesel-powered submarines for Australia.
Jean-Yves Le Drian, the French Foreign Minister, denounced a “stab in the back” of Australia, saying that “we had established a relationship of trust with Australia, and this trust was betrayed “.
Mr Le Drian said what happened showed Mr Biden was not behaving better than Donald Trump: “The brutal, one-sided and unpredictable decision reminds me a lot of what Mr Trump was doing. I am angry and I am angry and bitter. This is not done between allies.
Gérard Araud, the former French ambassador to Washington, tweeted: “France has just been reminded of this bitter truth by the way the United States and the United Kingdom stabbed her in the back in Australia. “
Other officials said relations with America were the worst since 2003, when the French were called “cheese-eating monkeys” for refusing to join the United States and the United Kingdom in the disastrous invasion of Iraq.
Joseph Borrell, head of European Union foreign affairs and security policy, who had just unveiled his own Indo-Pacific strategy, concluded that “we have to survive on our own like others do. I understand how much the French government must be disappointed ”.
Theresa May asked how the Aukus Pact would prompt the UK to respond if China tries to invade Taiwan. “May I ask him what are the implications of this pact for the position that would be taken by the UK in its response if China attempted to invade Taiwan?” “
Boris Johnson replied: “The UK remains committed to standing up for international law and this is the strong advice we would give to our friends around the world, and the strong advice we would give to the Beijing government. “
The reactions were in part due to the shock of what had happened. Barely two weeks ago, the Australian Defense and Foreign Ministers reconfirmed the French agreement. Emmanuel Macron looked forward to future cooperation when welcoming Mr. Morrison in June.
Yet we now know, first privately by British officials, then publicly by Secretary of Defense Ben Wallace and National Security Advisor Sir Stephen Lovegrove, that Australians first considered switching to the agreement with UK and US in March.
“This is a project in the making for a few months – throughout the withdrawal from Afghanistan – and it is a powerful illustration of how we are building new long-term partnerships rooted in the values of Great Britain. , its scientific and technical excellence, and in our alliances, ”said Mr. Stephen.
What happened in Afghanistan was already a sign to European states that America’s position had not changed much since Mr. Trump left. President Biden had continued his predecessor’s policy of hasty withdrawal of forces, with all the ensuing consequences. There has been little consultation with NATO partners, who have had no choice but to withdraw their troops as well.
The Biden administration focused on the Indo-Pacific. He is not the first to seek to do so. Barack Obama had also tried to move east but was held back in the Middle East by the rise of Isis.
The Aukus accord formalizes the attempt to curb Chinese expansionism.
Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said, “China is embarking on one of the largest military spending and investments in history. It is developing its navy and air force at a tremendous, extremely rapid pace. Obviously, he is engaged in some controversial and contested areas.
“This is what China is doing right now and it is right that the UK, alongside other allies such as Australia, stands up for the rules-based system and international law. ”