FURIOUS China lashed out at the West’s new nuclear subs deal last night – accusing us of going down a path of error and danger”.
After a show of strength between the UK, US and Australia revealed new details of a mega sub pact, menacing Beijing warned it could stoke an arms race in the Indo Pacific.
And they dismissed being branded a major threat by Rishi Sunak as a symptom of our “inevitable decline after Brexit”.
The new deal will see the UK and US help provide Australia with nuclear powered subs in a bid to scare off aggression from China in the region.
But China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin hit out, and accused the West of violating nuke pacts.
He said: “The latest joint statement from the US, UK and Australia demonstrates that the three countries, for the sake of their own geopolitical interests, completely disregard the concerns of the international communities and are walking further and further down the path of error and danger.”
China’s Mission to the UN said in a string of Tweets that the deal would “fuel arms races” and “hurt peace and stability in the region” – accusing the West of “double standards”.
Analysts slated the agreement in Chinese state media, too.
But the Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong slapped down their comments – saying they were “not grounded in fact”.
It came as Security Minister Tom Tugendhat insisted that China was a “threat in some areas” and ministers must keep “our eyes wide open” on Beijing.
He denied the PM had “gone soft” on China despite him watering down his language towards the rogue nation.
And he opened the door to a wholescale ban of the Chinese app TikTok – saying he’s ordered top spooks to look into.
He told Times Radio: “Nobody is going to tell me that China isn’t a threat in some areas and a challenge in others.
“The reality is that there are some areas where it’s a threat, some areas where it’s a challenge and some areas where it’s a partner.
“We’ve got to look at the government in Beijing with our eyes wide open, and not with the hope that some people approached a number of decades ago.”
Meanwhile, critics warned the National Security Investment Act will make the UK vulnerable to hostile actors.
And it makes no sense to treat allies like Australia the same way as suspicious actors like China and Russia thanks to the vague rules, the Tony Blair Institute say.