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Embassy Spokesperson’s Remarks on AUKUS Nuclear Submarine Cooperation (4)
2023-04-09 01:27

Questions: Why is it that the relevant parties’ rhetoric can not dispel the concerns of the international community about the nuclear submarine cooperation between the US, the UK and Australia?

Embassy Spokesperson: The effective function of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime has never been based on countries’ intentions, but their nuclear capabilities and whether there are effective safeguards in place. When it comes to nuclear non-proliferation, Australia does not have an impeccable record. After the Second World War, several Australian administrations sought to purchase tactical nuclear weapons from the US and UK. Today, there are still strong views in Australia calling for acquiring nuclear weapons. The nuclear submarine cooperation between the three countries involves the transfer of large amounts of weapons-grade nuclear material. Australia will even acquire nuclear-capable missiles. If Australia makes the dangerous decision to develop nuclear weapons, it will need significantly less time to do so because of the cooperation. All this provides little assurance to the international community.

No matter what pretext is used, it is clear that wrong action of the US, the UK and Australia stokes bloc confrontation, creates regional instability and tensions, and undermines the international nuclear non-proliferation regime. The three countries must immediately stop playing group politics and provoking bloc confrontation, and refrain from coercing the IAEA into endorsing their nuclear submarine cooperation. They should not go further down the wrong and dangerous path for the sake of their selfish interests.

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