News analysis

Nuclear submarine pact sparks anger in Beijing, raises concerns about regional arms race

US President Joe Biden during a virtual meeting with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison (left) and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Sept 15, 2021.PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING - The ink on Aukus, the new defence partnership between the United States, United Kingdom and Australia, barely had time to dry and already, China has condemned it in no uncertain terms, saying, among other things, that it represented "outdated Cold War zero-sum mentality".

The strident criticism in Beijing contrasts sharply with the the praise Western experts have lavished on the trilateral initiative, with many noting that it is a collective response to China's growing assertiveness in the South China Sea and beyond.

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