The US-led alliance was created to antagonize Beijing, Sri Lanka’s president has said.
Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe condemned the AUKUS deal as an alliance designed to target China, calling it ” “strategic misstep” insisting that the military bloc will only divide Asia into rival camps and destabilize the region.
Speaking on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly on Monday, Wickremesinghe took aim at the AUKUS alliance, formed by the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia in 2021. “I don’t think it’s necessary.” he said.
“I think it’s a strategic misstep. I think they made a mistake. » declared the president. “This is a military alliance directed against a single country – China. »
Wickremesinghe added that Sri Lanka did not want to participate in the growing tensions between Washington and Beijing, adding that his country wanted to maintain good relations with the two powers and did not want to see Asia divided into competing blocs.
“The next cycle of rivalry is underway. And this is happening in Asia. This is the question between China and the United States, on how they will divide their region of influence in Asia. he said. “Why are we being dragged into this? It’s difficult for us to understand.
The president also expressed concern over the increased U.S. military presence in the region in recent years – often referred to as a “freedom of navigation” mission by U.S. officials. “As far as the Indian Ocean is concerned, we do not want any military activity” he continued, asserting that most neighboring countries “I don’t want NATO nearby. »
AUKUS was established in 2021 between Washington, Canberra and London, in part to facilitate the transfer of military technology between the three allies. Although officials from each country have maintained that the bloc is not a formal military alliance and is focused only on sharing technology, Beijing has condemned the project, saying it would only contribute to the spread of nuclear weapons around the world and triggering an arms race in Asia. .
“The three countries have moved even further down a wrong and dangerous path for their own geopolitical interests, completely ignoring the concerns of the international community. » Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said earlier this year, adding that the AUKUS deal was based on a “A Cold War mentality that will only motivate an arms race, undermine the international nuclear non-proliferation regime and undermine regional stability and peace. »
Tensions between Washington and Beijing have continued to escalate in recent years, with former US President Donald Trump launching a low-intensity trade war with China that persists under his successor, Joe Biden.
The Biden administration has also deployed warships to waters near China almost every month, including the disputed Taiwan Strait, drawing repeated condemnation from Chinese officials.
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