China’s Ambassador to the United Nations Zhang Jun on Tuesday warned against actions that could trigger crises such as the Ukraine conflict in other parts of the world when asked about an agreement between Britain, the United States (US) and Australia on cooperation on the procurement of hypersonic weapons and electronic warfare capabilities.
“Anyone who doesn’t want to see the Ukraine crisis should refrain from doing things that could bring other parts of the world into a crisis like this one,” Zhang told reporters. “As the Chinese saying goes: if you don’t like it, don’t force it on others.”
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s office said Britain, the US and Australia on Tuesday agreed to cooperate on hypersonic weapons and electronic warfare capabilities. The deal follows calls between leaders of the new defense alliance.
The new AUKUS alliance, launched last September, prompted Australia to cancel its conventional submarine contract with France and switch to a US and UK-backed nuclear submarine program instead. This has damaged Australia’s relationship with French President Emmanuel Macron.
In a joint statement, AUKUS leaders British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, US President Joe Biden and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said they were pleased with the progress of Australia’s conventionally armed nuclear-powered submarine program, and that allies would cooperate in other countries. also.
“We are also committed today to starting a new trilateral cooperation on hypersonic and counter-hypersonic, and electronic warfare capabilities,” the statement said.
The United States and Australia already have a hypersonic weapons program called SCIFiRE or Southern Cross Integrated Flight Research Experiment. British officials said that while Britain would not be joining the program at this time, the three countries would work together on research and development in the region to expand their options.
The Biden administration is investing in research and development of hypersonic missiles, which travel at five times the speed of sound, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February has raised concerns about European security.
“In light of Russia’s unprovoked, unjustified and unlawful invasion of Ukraine, we reaffirm our unwavering commitment to an international system that respects human rights, the rule of law and the peaceful settlement of disputes free from coercion,” the leaders said. . They also reaffirmed their commitment to a “free and open Indo-Pacific.”
Russia said it launched a “special military operation” in Ukraine on February 24 to demilitarize its neighbour. The Kremlin’s excuses were rejected by Ukraine and the West as a pretext for the so-called unwarranted invasion. [ah/rs]