China has expressed outrage and accused the UK, US and Australia of fuelling an arms race after they announced a multibillion-dollar deal to provide Australia with nuclear-powered submarines.
Australia will receive at least three submarines to counter the growing threat of China in the Indo-Pacific.
In response, China's navy is said to have six nuclear-powered submarines capable of firing torpedoes and cruise missiles.
The UK, US and Australia has announced a multibillion-dollar deal to provide Australia with at least three nuclear-powered submarines as a counter to Chinese influence in the Indo-Pacific region.
In response, China has expressed outrage, accusing the countries of fuelling an arms race.
According to Wang Wenbin, China's foreign ministry spokesperson, the allies were "walking further and further down the path of error and danger".
China's mission to the UN also accused the three countries of escalating tensions in the region.
China's navy already has six nuclear-powered submarines that can fire torpedoes and cruise missiles.
Nuclear Threat Initiative, an American non-profit, believes that China is developing its own nuclear-powered submarines and has even tested submarine-launched ballistic missiles.
However, China claims that its military buildup is for defensive purposes only.
The US has said that the deal is not aimed at China but rather a sign of commitment to its allies in the Pacific.
Antony Blinken, the US secretary of state, said it is not about "containment" but about "ensuring peace and security" in the region.
Meanwhile, Australia's Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has stated that the country is not seeking confrontation with China but rather pursuing peace and stability.
Despite efforts to downplay the deal's impact on China, experts say it has significant geopolitical implications for the region.
Australia's decision to opt for nuclear-powered submarines is viewed as a game-changer in regional defence, and the new tech is seen as a direct challenge to China's maritime military capabilities.