Beijing [China], September 19 (ANI): After the launch of the trilateral security partnership of AUKUS, China picked on Australia saying that Canberra is now "a potential target for a nuclear strike".
A newspaper run by the Chinese Communist Party says that Australia is now "a potential target for a nuclear strike" after launching the AUKUS pact with the US and UK to build nuclear-powered submarines, reported New York Post.
On Wednesday, Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States announced a defence partnership dubbed AUKUS, which allows Australia to acquire nuclear-propelled submarines from the two partners.
The propaganda outlet published an article titled, "Nuke sub deal could make Australia potential nuclear war target."
The article said, "Chinese military experts warned that (AUKUS) will potentially make Australia a target of a nuclear strike if a nuclear war breaks out even when Washington said it won't arm Canberra with nuclear weapons because it's easy for the US to equip Australia with nuclear weapons and submarine-launched ballistic missiles when Australia has the submarines", reported New York Post.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said that AUKUS "seriously damages regional peace and stability, intensifies the arms race, and undermines the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons."
Zhao said, "China will pay close attention to the development of the AUKUS deal. Relevant countries should abandon their Cold War and zero-sum game mentality; otherwise, they will lift a rock that drops on their own feet", reported New York Post.
The AUKUS initiative received an unexpectedly strong reaction this week from France, which owns island territories in the Pacific and Indian oceans. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told France Info radio, "It is really a stab in the back."
France is a nuclear energy pioneer and a NATO ally alongside the US and UK. The new deal caused a French company to lose work with Australia to build conventional submarines, reported New York Post.
In protest, France cancelled a Friday night gala in DC that was set to celebrate the 240th anniversary of the French navy's victory in a battle that helped secure American independence. (ANI)