AUKUS nuclear submarine cooperation extremely irresponsible: FM spokesperson

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The Capitol and a stop sign are seen in Washington D.C., the United States, on Feb. 13, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

The nuclear submarine cooperation between the United States, the UK and Australia, which deliberately escalates regional tensions, stimulates arms race, threatens regional peace and stability, and undermines international nuclear non-proliferation efforts, is extremely irresponsible, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said on Monday.

Zhao made the remarks at a press briefing when commenting a memorandum on an agreement between the U.S. government, the Australian government, and the UK government for the exchange of naval nuclear propulsion information.

Zhao said China has expressed grave concern over the nuclear submarine cooperation between AUKUS, and many countries have expressed their serious concerns over the possible negative consequences of the cooperation.

Noting the International Atomic Energy Agency is unable to effectively monitor the nuclear power reactors and weapons-grade nuclear materials that the United States and the UK are planning to provide to Australia under the current safeguards mechanism, Zhao said the move of the AUKUS has posed a huge risk of nuclear proliferation, clearly violated the object and purpose of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and seriously impacted the international nuclear non-proliferation regime.

Zhao said that it is extremely irresponsible for the three countries to forge the so-called agreement on the exchange of naval nuclear propulsion information, advance nuclear submarine cooperation in disregard of international rules and opposition of parties.

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