China's Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Vienna said Wednesday that the United States, Britain, and Australia must address international concerns about the nuclear proliferation risks of their AUKUS deal.

Iran PressEurope: Wang Qun made the remarks when addressing a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors on the "Transfer of nuclear materials in the context of AUKUS and its safeguards in all aspects under the NPT (Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons)."

ON Monday, the IAEA board decided by consensus to incorporate the AUKUS issue as a formal agenda item at China's proposal, Xinhua reported.

In September 2021, 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.

Wang noted the core issue is whether AUKUS involves the illegal transfer of nuclear weapon materials.

The issue bears on the integrity, effectiveness, and authority of the NPT and the interests of all IAEA member states, and thus must be clarified, he said.

"If the AUKUS does involve the illegal transfer of nuclear weapon materials, the three countries must completely abolish the cooperation that openly and directly violates the NPT, impairs the international nuclear non-proliferation regime, and undermines global strategic stability and international security order," he said.

"Otherwise, the IAEA member states have the right and responsibility to continue the intergovernmental discussion process to resolve the issue so as to safeguard the authority and effectiveness of the NPT as well as the integrity of the IAEA safeguards system," he added.

China has proposed the establishment of a special committee, open to the participation of all IAEA member states, to continue in-depth discussions on AUKUS and submit recommendations to the agency's board and its general conference, according to Wang.

He stressed that before a consensus is reached on a resolution, the United States, Britain, and Australia should not cooperate on nuclear-powered submarines, and the IAEA secretariat should not negotiate safeguard issues with the three countries.

The envoy called on all IAEA member states to focus on the core issues of AUKUS and seek solutions to safeguard the NPT and the international non-proliferation regime.


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