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Ambassador Wang Qun: The Assistance by the US and UK to Austrialia's Aquisition of Nuclear-Powered Submarine is Sheer Act of Nuclear-proliferation
2021/09/16

16 September, Chinese Envoy to the UN in Vienna, Ambassador Wang Qun, in addressing IAEA's Board of Governors meeting, expressed China's grave concern and solemn position at the pronounced assistance by the US and UK to Australia's acquisition of nuclear powered submarine, and characterized the trilateral move as sheer act of nuclear proliferation.

Amb. Wang stated that to prevent proliferation of nuclear weapons and technologies is the objective and purpose of the NPT, as well as the core obligation for its state parties. The US and UK, as state parties to the NPT as well as nuclear weapon state, will apparently give rise to proliferation of nuclear materials and technologies by openly providing assistance to Australia, as a non-nuclear weapon state, in the latter's acquisition and building of the nuclear-powered submarine. This contradicts the purpose, objective and core obligation of the NPT to the detriment of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime with the NPT at its core and on-going international efforts on this front.

While firmly safeguarding the validity of the international non-proliferation regime, China wishes to register its grave concern at the development. In the meantime, we believe that, it is the responsibly of IAEA, as an international organization mandated to implement NPT non-proliferation regime, to openly express its solemn position at the trilateral act by the US, the UK and Australia, which contradicting to their obligations under the NPT.  

Amb. Wang stressed that the open assistance by the US and UK, as nuclear weapon states, to non-nuclear weapon state like Australia, in the latter's acquisition of the military-used nuclear powered submarine constitutes sheer act of nuclear proliferation. Such an act of nuclear proliferation will give rise to serious negative implications on the on-going international efforts to address the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula as well as the Iranian nuclear issue.

Given the ongoing review and discussions of the Korean Peninsula and Iranian nuclear at the IAEA Board of Governors and the General Conference, it is essential that all member of the Board and international organizations including IAEA, make solemn position on the trilateral collaboration among the US, UK and Australia in helping Australia develop nuclear-powered submarine, in promotion of the full and effective implementation of international non-proliferation obligations under NPT by all countries.

Amb. Wang pointed out, it has shown that, in exporting highly sensitive nuclear submarine to Australia, the US and UK have once again adopted a double standard on nuclear export, and have taken nuclear export as means of their geo-political game. In the meantime, it is utterly irresponsible for Australia, as a non-nuclear state and state party to NPT and South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty, to import nuclear submarine technology with strategic militarily value. The international community, including neighboring countries, have every reason to question the Australia's sincerity in implementation of nuclear non-proliferation commitment under the relevant Treaties. The trilateral collaboration by the US, UK and Australia will seriously impair the regional peace and stability, escalate arms race, to the detriment of international peace and security.

In conclusion, Amb. Wang said, China will closely follow its development and reserve the right to make the further responses. In the meantime, China call on international community to work together to check such a dangerous act.

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