A submarine (representative image) Photograph:( AFP )
US, UK and Australia announced a new nuclear submarine deal which would involve helping Canberra build a submarine fleet.
After US, Australia and Britain announced the establishment of a new security partnership for the Indo-Pacific region, China lashed out at the move saying that "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," the Chinese embassy in Washington said.
The deal which involves helping Australia acquire nuclear-powered submarines to guard against future threats was announced jointly by US President Joe Biden, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and UK PM Boris Johnson.
PM Morrison said that the submarines would be built in Adelaide in close cooperation with the United States and Britain and that Australia will continue to meet its nuclear non-proliferation obligations.
"Our world is becoming more complex, especially here in our region, the Indo-Pacific. It affects us all. The future of the Indo-Pacific will impact all our futures to make these challenges, to help deliver the security and stability our region needs, we must now take our partnership to a new level," PM Scott Morrison said while announcing the deal.
"A partnership that seeks to engage, not to exclude, to contribute, not take; and to enable and empower, not to control or coerce," the Australian PM added.
None of the three leaders however mentioned China and US officials said that move was not aimed at countering Beijing. However, US President Biden in his speech said that the new trilateral partnership was meant to address the current environment in the region.
"Today, we're taking another historic step to deepen and formalise cooperation among all three of our nations because we all recognise the imperative of ensuring peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific over the long term," Biden said.
"We need to be able to address both the current strategic environment in the region and how it may evolve because the future of each of our nations and indeed the world depends on a free and open Indo-Pacific," the US president added.
(With inputs from Agencies)