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China urges international community to stop Australia from acquiring nuclear submarines

BEIJING (RIA Novosti): China calls on the international community to take joint effective measures to prevent Australia from violating the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which could occur if the country receives nuclear submarines and technologies for their production from the United States and Great Britain , Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian said at a briefing on Thursday .

“Cooperation between the United States, Britain and Australia poses a serious threat of nuclear proliferation and violates the spirit of the NPT,” Wu Qian said.

He stressed that through the partnership, the United States and the United Kingdom will export technology, equipment and nuclear materials such as weapons-grade highly enriched uranium, which can be used to create nuclear weapons, to Australia, which does not possess nuclear weapons. And within the IAEA safeguards system it will not be possible to verify how Australia will use the relevant nuclear materials.

“This is a blatant act of nuclear proliferation,” he said.

Wu Qian stressed that the United States and the United Kingdom are extremely irresponsible and adhere to double standards in the issue of nuclear exports, such actions may induce other non-nuclear-weapon states to follow this example and bring far-reaching negative consequences in solving regional problems.

At the same time, Australia, he added, “being a party to the NPT and the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty,” would seriously violate its international nonproliferation obligations by importing strategically important technologies for creating nuclear submarines and weapons-grade highly enriched uranium, and it’s extremely dangerous. “

“China calls on the international community to act together and take effective measures to stop such dangerous actions,” he stressed. In addition, he called on Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom to abandon the Cold War and zero-sum mentality, undo the corresponding erroneous decision to develop cooperation in the field of nuclear submarines and make more efforts conducive to peace and stability in the region.

Australia previously partnered with the United Kingdom and the United States on defense and security AUKUS and announced its withdrawal from the € 56 billion submarine agreement with the French company Naval Group.

The agreement with France provided for the production of 12 Barracuda-class attack submarines.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian called Australia’s decision to break the agreement “a stab in the back.”

The head of EU diplomacy, Josep Borrell, in a conversation with Australian Foreign Minister Maris Payne, expressed regret that the new AUKUS partnership excludes EU countries.

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