China: US, UK, Australia 'severely damaging regional peace' with security partnership

China: US, UK, Australia 'severely damaging regional peace' with security partnership
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China on Thursday condemned the U.S., United Kingdom and Australia’s move to join a security partnership, saying it is “severely damaging regional peace.”

The partnership is "severely damaging regional peace and stability, intensifying an arms race, and damaging international nuclear nonproliferation efforts,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Thursday, according to Reuters

"China will closely watch the situation's development,” he added.

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Zhao says countries shouldn’t be forming partnerships that directly target another nation, although all three countries did not mention China in the announcement of the move.

One of the goals for the trilateral security partnership is to help Australia develop nuclear-powered submarines, which would challenge China’s power in the Indo-Pacific region. 

“This is a historic announcement. It reflects the Biden administration’s determination to build stronger partnerships to sustain peace and stability across the entire Indo-Pacific region,” a senior Biden administration official said Wednesday. “This new architecture is really about deepening cooperation on a range of defense capabilities for the 21st century.”

The countries said the partnership was to maintain stability but denied it had anything to do with any other country.

The three countries would work with each other on security areas such as artificial intelligence, cyber and quantum technology.

China’s Embassy in the U.S. immediately reacted to the announcement, saying the countries "should not build exclusionary blocs targeting or harming the interests of third parties. In particular, they should shake off their Cold-War mentality and ideological prejudice."