China raises concerns over nuclear weapons transfer in AUKUS

China raises concerns over nuclear weapons transfer in AUKUS

International flags flutter outside the UN headquarters during the opening of the International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors meeting at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna, Austria on September 10, 2018. JOE KLAMAR AFP VIENNA - A Chinese envoy expressed concerns about the nuclear weapon material transfer involved in AUKUS, saying the United States, Britain and Australia must give an account to the international community.

Wang Qun, China's permanent representative to the United Nations in Vienna, made remarks at a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors.

The United States, Britain and Australia announced the establishment of AUKUS, under which the United States and Britain will assist Australia in its acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines in the context of the AUKUS and its safeguards in all aspects of the NPT Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

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Wang said the trilateral deal violates the NPT, the IAEA's comprehensive safeguards agreement, and the additional protocol signed between Australia and the IAEA.

He said that he said that the deal involves the illegal transfer of nuclear weapon materials, regardless of who the three countries assign to the deal and how they handle relevant nuclear weapon materials.

Wang called for the IAEA to address the issue, because it believes that AUKUS has a negative impact on international security order, regional peace and global non-proliferation regime.

The United States and Britain have double standards on nuclear proliferation issues, according to the Chinese envoy.

He said that the two countries have imposed unilateral sanctions on civilian nuclear programs of some non-nuclear weapon states, while blatantly transferring nuclear weapon material to Australia.

Such double standards have severely undermined the international non-proliferation regime and hindered the resolution of hotspot issues such as the Iran nuclear issue and the Korean Peninsula's nuclear issue, according to Wang. Wang called on all relevant parties to continue intergovernmental negotiations to find the solution to the AUKUS issue and take concrete measures to safeguard international non-proliferation regime, global peace and security.