United Nations is aware of the reports of the diplomatic rift between the United States and China and France over the new security partnership with the United Kingdom and Australia (AUKUS) and stresses the importance of dialogue to resolve all regional tensions, UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said in a press briefing on Friday.
“We’re aware reports,” Dujarric said. “We would just stress the importance of dialogue to resolving regional tensions and the maintenance of peaceful and prosperous Asia-Pacific region.”
Earlier this week, the US, Australia and the UK announced a new trilateral AUKUS defense partnership. The allies stress that it is not directed against anyone, but the initiative is perceived as a response to China’s growing capabilities and ambitions.
The new defensive pact forced Canberra to give up on a $66 billion contract with France to develop 12 state-of-the-art conventionally powered attack submarines, as the defensive alliance promises to enhance Australia’s fleet with nuclear-powered submarines.
France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian referred to the deal as “a knife in the back,” and the French Embassy in Washington canceled a reception set for Friday to celebrate the US-French alliance dating back to the American War of Independence.