China politics and policy updates
Sign up for MyFT Daily Digest to be the first to learn about Chinese politics and policy.
China says economic growth and jobs in the Asia-Pacific region are needed, not gunpowder and submarines, in Beijing’s latest salve after the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom announced a new trilateral security partnership.
Speaking in Beijing on Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian called on AUX members to reverse their decision and “meet their international nuclear disarmament obligations.”
The Akus Treaty and the related agreement to help Australia build nuclear-powered submarines, increase Australia’s power across the Western Pacific and come in response to the threat posed by China’s expanded military footprint.
“In the face of the general challenge of epidemics and economic recovery, the people of the Asia-Pacific region need growth and employment, not submarines and gunpowder,” Zhou said in the Foreign Ministry’s first official remarks since the Mid-Autumn Festival. Holidays this week.
In the wake of the Akus deal, Western security analysts are prepared for a harsh response from China. Beijing has so far confused many experts by saying a number of things that embrace multilateralism on trade and climate change instead.
Less than 24 hours after Akus was announced, Beijing formally submitted an application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
The surprise move stunned many trade experts as it provided potential diplomatic benefits to Australia and Canada, with whom China has seen its relations fall to historic lows – all CPTPP members have veto power over new members.
Chinese President Xi Jinping also promised to cut off Chinese funding for new coal-fired power plants abroad, a victory for environmentalists after years of international lobbying efforts.
Speaking at the inaugural session of the UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday, Xi said the tension between China and the United States in tackling the global threat of climate change has helped mitigate the threat.
In the run-up to the UN climate conference COP26 in Glasgow in November, concerns have been raised that environmentalists see it as important to set more ambitious goals to reduce carbon emissions.
Li Shuo, an energy policy officer at Greenpeace’s Campaign Group, said Beijing needs to focus on transforming clean energy into China.
“There is an urgent need to reduce coal addiction at home. To ensure China’s emissions peak before 2025, more decisive signals should be sent by Cop2026, ”Li said.
Additional report by Jining Liu in Beijing