BEIJING (TASS): China expresses deep concern over the conclusion of an agreement under the new security alliance AUKUS (Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States) to exchange information on naval nuclear power plants. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian stated this at a regular briefing on Monday.
“China is deeply concerned about the nuclear submarine cooperation between Australia, the UK and the US. This will increase regional tensions, provoke an arms race, threaten regional peace and stability, and undermine international nonproliferation efforts,” he said. …
He added that the International Atomic Energy Agency would not be able to exercise effective oversight of nuclear power plants and radioactive materials. “There is no way to ensure that these technologies and materials are not used to create nuclear weapons,” Zhao Lijian said.
“These three countries ignored international law and the protests of all relevant parties to conclude an agreement on the exchange of information on naval nuclear power plants. This is extremely irresponsible,” he added.
“How to prevent these erroneous actions from prompting other countries to do the same? They must provide clarifications on this matter,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman concluded.
Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States on Monday signed the first agreement under the new tripartite security alliance, AUKUS, to share information on naval nuclear power plants.
The creation of AUKUS was announced by Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States on 15 September. The agreements they negotiated include plans for Australia to build at least eight conventional nuclear submarines using American technology and to re-equip its armed forces with American cruise missiles. Now nuclear submarines are not in service with Australia. Given the new pact, Canberra tore up the largest contract in its history with France for the supply of 12 submarines worth over € 50 billion, declaring that it no longer meets the country’s national interests.