China Warns Against Exclusionary Blocs After AUKUS Launched
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - China opposes the creation of exclusionary blocs that may harm the interests of third parties, Embassy in Washington spokesperson Liu Pengyu said in a statement to Sputnik when asked to respond to the newly-launched Australia-UK-US (AUKUS) defense pact.
Earlier in the day, President Joe Biden and the leaders of the UK and Australia launched a trilateral alliance that will allegedly focus on Indo-Pacific stability.
"They [countries] should not build exclusionary blocs targeting or harming the interests of third parties," Liu said on Wednesday. "In particular, they should shake off their Cold-War mentality and ideological prejudice."
Liu said countries should do more things that are conducive to solidarity and cooperation among countries, including for regional stability.
The AUKUS initiative launches an 18-month effort to deepen cooperation and defense capabilities in the Indo-Pacific region.
The first major initiative of the trilateral pact will be to deliver a nuclear-powered submarine fleet to Australia. However, the submarines will not be nuclear-armed, but conventionally armed and run by nuclear reactors.
Earlier on Wednesday, a senior Biden administration official told reporters that the defense pact is not aimed at any specific country, but is about advancing the partners' strategic interests and promoting stability in the Indo-Pacific. The official repeatedly refrained from conveying that the AUKUS pact is aimed at China when pressed on the matter by reporters.
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