Published: 21:48, June 6, 2022 | Updated: 21:48, June 6, 2022
AUKUS: China iterates concern over nuke material transfer
By Xinhua

China's Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Vienna Wang Qun attends a meeting convened by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors in Vienna, Austria, March 2, 2022.  (GUO CHEN / XINHUA)

VIENNA – China on Monday reiterated concerns over the nuclear weapon material transfer involved in AUKUS, saying the issue should be addressed under the international non-proliferation regime.

Wang Qun, Chinese envoy to the United Nations and other international organizations in Vienna, made the remarks after a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors.

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The incorporation of the AUKUS issue in IAEA board meeting agenda for the third time reflects the international community's concerns over the deal, said Wang Qun

The meeting decided by consensus to set up a formal agenda item on "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)" at China's proposal, Wang said.

The Chinese envoy said it is the third time that the IAEA board meeting has incorporated the AUKUS issue into its agenda, reflecting the international community's serious concerns over the trilateral deal.

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 called on the three countries to heed the call of the international community, fulfill their legal obligations on non-proliferation, and immediately and comprehensively report to the IAEA all relevant information about the nuclear weapon material transfer under AUKUS.

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Wang expressed hope that the IAEA board meeting would continue to focus on core issues of AUKUS and seek solutions to safeguard the NPT and the international non-proliferation regime.