Beijing’s tantrum over Australia’s nuclear-powered submarine deal with the United States and Britain has escalated even further, with a top Chinese academic in Beijing warning the nation is now a target for ‘nuclear war’.
Victor Gao, who was once communist leader Deng Xiaoping’s translator, made a thinly-veiled threat that the AUKUS pact announced last week was a ‘gross violation of international law’ that will have ‘profound consequences’ for ‘brainless’ Aussies.
His comments have followed several days of dummy spits by Communist Party bureaucrats crying foul that their ambitions of dominating the seas of the Indo-Pacific have been met with pushback from democratic adversaries.
After secret negotiations with his counterparts in Britain and the US, Prime Minister Scott Morrison last week announced a deal for eight nuclear-powered submarines – much to China’s fury.
While the exact design and costs of Australia’s subs have yet to be revealed, US Virginia-class nuclear subs cost around $4.5bn each and UK Astute-class $2.6bn each.
Beijing’s tantrum over Australia’s nuclear-powered submarine deal with the United States and Britain has escalated even further with a Chinese official saying the nation is now a target for nuclear war (pictured, a Tomahawk cruise missile is fired by the US Navy)
Beijing has reacted furiously after the AUKUS deal was announced last week (pictured, Chinese President Xi Jinping stands on a military jeep 90th anniversary of the founding of the PLA)
‘Armed with nuclear submarines, Australia itself will be a target for possible nuclear attacks in the future,’ the vice president for thinktank the Centre for China and Globalisation told ABC’s China Tonight.
‘You do not need to know whom it will be.
‘The watershed moment will be if Australia will be armed with nuclear submarines to be locally produced in Australia.
‘That will mean Australia will lose that privilege of not being targeted by nuclear weapons to other countries and that should be a wake up call for all Australians.
‘Do you really want to be a target in a possible nuclear war or do you want to be free from nuclear menace?’
When pressed by host Stan Grant about why Australia would be a nuclear target given the submarines are only nuclear-powered and won’t carry nuclear warheads, Mr Gao merely repeated his bizarre threat.
‘Anything you do will have a consequence, and this is the most profound consequence,’ he said.
‘And Australia and the United States and United Kingdom are being accused of violating the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which is a gross violation of international law.
‘And it will have consequences’.
His belligerent tone has sadly become synonymous with Communist Party lackeys who were once guided under Deng Xiaoping’s philosophy: ‘Hide your strength, bide your time.’
Britain and America are to help Australia build a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines as part of an unprecedented alliance known as AUKUS to combat China (pictured, a British Astute-class nuclear sub which is likely to mirror the Australian design)
The pact does not make the design of Australia’s new submarines clear, but they will be based on previous US and UK designs. Pictured above is a cross-section of Britain’s Astute-class nuclear attack subs, which is likely to mirror the new vessels
Mr Gao slammed Canberra’s close military ties with Washington, claiming Australia has a ‘blood treaty’ with the US (pictured, a United States Navy Los Angeles class nuclear-powered fast attack submarine is dry docked at Naval Base Point Loma)
But in more recent years, after Xi Jinping abolished term limits in 2018 to declare himself President-for-life, the authoritarian state has become increasingly aggressive both in their actions and their rhetoric.
China has been rapidly increasing the size of its own naval fleet – including nuclear-powered sub – as its lays claim to disputed territories in the South China Sea by militarising man-made islands in contravention of international law.
The totalitarian regime has also stamped out democracy campaigners in Hong Kong and vowed to annex Taiwan by force.
So its been no surprise Beijing’s ‘Wolf Warrior’ diplomats have gone on the attack over the AUKUS deal as the landmark security arrangement threatens President’s Xi’s ambition of China becoming the dominant naval power in the Indo-Pacific.
Mr Gao slammed Canberra’s close military ties with Washington, claiming Australia has a ‘blood treaty’ with the US.
‘If the United States fire any single shot, you the Australians will have no choice but to fight together,’ he said.
‘In Afghanistan, in Korea, in Iraq, wherever the Americans find themselves in a war – the Australians are on the American’s side, as if the Australians do no have any brain power left – as if you only have your muscles.’
He went on to warn that Taiwan is ‘part of China’ and slammed the ABC host for referring to an ‘invasion’.
‘Listen to me – the reunification of Taiwan will happen by peaceful means preferably, and by non-peaceful means if necessary,’ he said.
‘No country will be able to deprive China’s mission of national reunification.
‘If the Australian government want to stand in the way of that, be my guest – you will see what will be the consequences to Australia.’
Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison (pictured) during a virtual press conference with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and US President Joe Biden to announce the landmark deal
Why Australia needed a new deal with the UK and the US: Australia’s defence capabilities are dwarfed by those of China
Australia is now set to acquire at least eight nuclear-powered submarines to present a counter-balance to Beijing’s growing navy, and will also be sharing other advanced military technologies with Washington and London
His threats of a nuclear strike come just days after the Communist Party Mouthpiece the Global Times published an article citing an anonymous ‘senior Chinese military expert’ spouting similar propaganda.
‘This would make Australia a potential target for a nuclear strike, because nuclear-armed states like China and Russia are directly facing the threat from Australia’s nuclear submarines which serve US strategic demands,’ the expert said.
‘Beijing and Moscow won’t treat Canberra as ”an innocent non-nuclear power,” but ‘a US ally which could be armed with nuclear weapons anytime,’ the expert added.
Australia’s diplomatic relationship with its largest trading partner has been on the rocks since April last year after Mr Morrison’s government called for an independent inquiry into the origin of the coronavirus pandemic – which first appeared in Wuhan at the end of 2019.
Australia’s diplomatic relationship with its largest trading partner has been on the rocks since April last year after Mr Morrison’s government called for an independent inquiry into the origin of the coronavirus pandemic (pictured, Chinese military in Beijing)
The plea for transparency infuriated Beijing who retaliated by imposing arbitrary bans and tariffs on billions of dollars worth of Australian goods including barley, wine, cotton, seafood, beef, copper, and coal.
Australia in the past was resistant to building a nuclear-powered fleet as it would have required civil nuclear power capability onshore, but advances in military technology available via a deal with the US and UK mean that is no longer an issue.
At the same time an increasingly belligerent and hostile China motivated Mr Morrison to plan and set up the historic AUKUS military alliance which will see Australia get its hands on up to eight nuclear-powered submarines.
It marks the first time in 50 years that the US has shared its submarine technology, and Australia will be only the second country to receive it – after the UK.
Australia will join an elite group of nations operating nuclear-powered subs that includes France, China, India and Russia. The deal will not give Australia nuclear weapons, as the country has a long-standing commitment not to develop them.
Beijing’s tough-talking bureaucrats have gone on the attack over the AUKUS deal as the landmark security arrangement threatens President’s Xi Jinping’s (pictured) ambition of China becoming the dominant naval power in the Indo-Pacific
China has inflamed tensions in the South China Sea in recent years by expanding its claimed territory, to the objection of its neighbours in the Asia-Pacific
China has transformed several uninhabited islands in the South China Sea into military bases and has begun warning ships away from them, including threatening rival naval vessels