HomeNewsDiplomatic NewsChina expresses concern over AUKUS cooperation

China expresses concern over AUKUS cooperation


Beijing, 16 March 2023 (TDI): China expressed grave concern over the recent announcement of the new nuclear submarine cooperation between the United States (US), the United Kingdom (UK), and Australia.

According to Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Wang Wenbin, China opposes the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) endorsement of the pact

Under the AUKUS pact, Australia will obtain its first batch of nuclear-powered submarines from the US, while the allies will also work together to create a new fleet using cutting-edge technology, including UK-made Rolls-Royce reactors.

Moreover, Wang stated, “the commitment to nuclear non-proliferation by the three countries is pure deception, as this is the first time that a nuclear-weapon state has transferred nuclear submarine power reactors and weapons-grade highly enriched uranium to a non-nuclear-weapon state, which cannot be effectively supervised by the IAEA under its current oversight system.”

Further, he added, “It means the IAEA cannot guarantee that Australia will not use relevant nuclear materials to manufacture nuclear weapons.”

“Therefore, the pact poses a serious nuclear proliferation risk, violates the purpose and principle of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), and impairs the international nuclear non-proliferation system,” Wang said.

Another pertinent point is Wang’s emphasis on IAEA and the three states having no right to reach deals on the nuclear submarine safeguards issue.

Wang also said, “the international society has wide differences in the application of Article 14, and there is no consensus on the definition of activities listed in Article 14.”

“These are all recognized outstanding issues in the international nuclear arms control field. The US, the UK, Australia, and the secretariat of the IAEA have no right to interpret them without authorization,” he added.

According to him, the arrangements in Article 14 involve the interests of all IAEA member countries and should be discussed by all interested states.

The IAEA Secretariat should not engage in private deals with the three countries before all interested states reach any consensus.

Wang urged the three countries to fulfill their nuclear non-proliferation obligations, and the IAEA Secretariat not to endorse the AUKUS deal.

At the same time, he also called on all IAEA member states to actively promote the intergovernmental process & find a solution to the safeguards issues related to nuclear submarine cooperation, so that international peace & security can be maintained.

Above all, China’s concerns regarding the AUKUS deal are significant, and all parties involved must work together to find a resolution that is satisfactory to all.

The IAEA must ensure that its oversight system is effective in preventing nuclear proliferation, and all interested parties must be involved in the decision-making process.

Ultimately, the world must work towards a future where nuclear weapons are eliminated, and international peace and security are ensured.

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