Australia Mocks ‘Stupid’ Chinese Critique Of Nuclear Subs

Icy relations between Australia and China have caused a freeze on high-level diplomatic contacts

Sydney:

Australia on Friday openly mocked the warnings of a senior Chinese diplomat about its plan to acquire nuclear submarines, saying they are “so stupid that it’s funny”.

The Chinese embassy’s affairs committee, Wang Xining, said Australia would become the “bad guy” if it acquired the submarines capable of stolen, long-term missions.

Nuclear-powered submarines are designed to launch long-range attacks, Wang argued in an interview with The Guardian.

“So who are you going to attack? You are no longer a peacemaker, a peace activist, you are becoming a sandman in a certain form,” said Wang, who is China’s highest representative in Australia since the former ambassador’s departure last month after one. a five-year term.

Wang said Australia has “zero nuclear capability” to deal with any problem affecting the submarines and asked if politicians are willing to apologize to people if any incident happened.

Australian Defense Minister Peter Dutton mocked the “inflammatory” remarks, describing them in a TV interview as “a provocative, kind of comic statement, really one that is so stupid that it’s funny.”

Dutton said the interim Chinese ambassador “probably reads a manuscript from the Communist Party of Alberta but I think most Australians see through the unproductive nature of the comments”.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced in September that he had decided to acquire the nuclear ships in a new defensive alliance with the United States and Britain.

In addition to angering China, the deal outraged France, which discovered at the last minute that its own multibillion-dollar diesel-electric submarine contract with Australia had been canceled.

In his interview with The Guardian, Wang also warned Australian politicians not to do anything “destructive to the relationship”.

Dutton said over the weekend that he cannot conceive of a situation in which Australia will not support the US in the event of an armed conflict with China over control of Taiwan.

A self-governing democracy of 23 million people, Taiwan is claimed by Beijing, which has promised to someday take the island, by force if necessary.

Icy relations between Australia and China have caused a freeze on high-level diplomatic contacts for nearly two years.

China has imposed severe sanctions on some Australian exports, a measure seen in Canberra as retaliation for Australia banning telecommunications tech titans Huawei from key contracts and questioning how the Covid-19 pandemic began.

There is no sign of either side yielding to soil.

Morrison this week unveiled a list of 63 “critical technologies” such as 5G communications to be protected from interference by foreign actors including China.

(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and is published by syndicated feed.)

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