GENEVA, Oct. 14 -- The Permanent Mission of the People's Republic of China to the United Nations Office at Geneva and other International Organizations in Switzerland hosted a press conference via video link on October 13.
Chinese Ambassador for Disarmament Affairs Li Song answered questions on issues concerning the establishment of the alliance AUKUS among the US, Britain, and Australia.
When asked about the remarks on the establishment of AUKUS and their move to help Australia obtain nuclear-powered submarines, Amb. Li said that AUKUS is an awkward example set by the US, Britain and Australia in their so-called "leadership" in the international non-proliferation work.
AUKUS is an outcome of the Cold War mentality and narrow geopolitics. The nuclear submarine cooperation among the three countries can be regarded as a textbook-level nuclear proliferation case, which goes against the spirit of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and also poses a severe challenge to relevant provisions.
As depositary states of the NPT, the US and Britain are to help Australia, a non-nuclear-weapon state, to develop nuclear-powered submarines, including the sensitive nuclear materials such as tons of weapon-grade enriched Uranium, and transfer of relevant technologies and equipment. Such cooperation has never happened in the history of the NPT. The comprehensive safeguard mechanism for non-nuclear-weapon states by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has never been applicable to such cooperation.
In addition to nuclear proliferation risks, AUKUS will lead to a wider range of impacts to regional nuclear-weapon-free zones in South Pacific and Southeast Asia, intensify regional arms race, undermine regional unity and cooperation, as well as the regional peace and stability.
Nuclear proliferation is not welcomed in Asian Pacific. Amb. Li also noted that the recent incident of a foreign nuclear submarine in the South China Sea further indicated that those submarines which traveled all the way across the globe can only bring trouble to our region and will not be well accepted by regional countries and peoples.