"If the U.S. can transfer weapons-grade nuclear materials to Australia, a non-nuclear-weapon state, what reason does it have to oppose the production of highly enriched uranium by other non-nuclear-weapon states?," Wang asked.
On Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin refuted a U.S. claim concerning Australia-U.K.-U.S. (AUKUS) trilateral nuclear submarine cooperation, urging the three countries not to go ahead with the cooperation.
"Nuclear submarine cooperation under the AUKUS trilateral security partnership poses a serious risk of nuclear proliferation, and clearly violates the objective and purpose of the NPT," Wang said, adding that the Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards arrangement cannot effectively monitor the power reactors of nuclear submarines, therefore, there is no way to ensure that Australia won't divert these nuclear materials to the manufacturing of nuclear weapons or nuclear explosive devices.
"The U.S. claims the world can be certain that there is no diversion of uranium to a weapons program, but can just a verbal commitment dispel the doubts of the international community?" the Chinese diplomant asked, recalling that the U.S. previously promised Russia that it would not push forward NATO's eastward expansion, but everyone has seen how the United States broke that pledge.
AUKUS have fully exposed their "double standards," which are bound to have far-reaching negative impacts on the resolution of regional nuclear hotspot issues, and may ultimately lead to the collapse of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime.
"If the United States can transfer weapons-grade nuclear materials to Australia, a non-nuclear-weapon state, what reason does it have to oppose the production of highly enriched uranium by other non-nuclear-weapon states?" Wang asked.
In November, the IAEA Board of Governors added issues related to the trilateral nuclear submarine cooperation to its official agenda and held discussions, which reflected the serious concerns shared broadly by member states of the Board of Governors.
"The U.S. claims that AUKUS would instead set 'a precedent of the highest possible level of safeguards' for any similar deals in the future. What qualifications do the three countries have to set standards for other countries?" Wang questioned, stressing that safeguards issue regarding the AUKUS nuclear submarine cooperation bears on the integrity and efficacy of the IAEA and concerns the interests of all member states, and should be discussed by all IAEA member states.
China has suggested that the IAEA should establish a special committee open to all member states to properly seek a solution acceptable to all parties. "China maintains that, pending a consensus reached by all parties, the U.S., the U.K., and Australia should not go ahead with relevant cooperation and the IAEA Secretariat should not have consultation with the three countries on the so-called safeguards arrangement," the spokesperson said.
"The U.S. expects to maintain indefinitely a strong security presence in East Asia and in the Persian Gulf. It would like this presence to be regarded favorably by India"https://t.co/YBTwfP0vkp#US #FOIP #india #security #military #IndoPacific #geopolitics #China pic.twitter.com/s1lePP3fG9— The Geopolitical Cartographer (@GCartographer) November 30, 2021