At IAEA, China Withdraws Objection On AUKUS Nuke

NEW DELHI | Updated: 01 October, 2022 1:19 am IST

China finally withdrew its well-prepared draft to get a resolution passed against the AUKUS (Australia, UK and US) for seeking to provide Australia with nuclear-powered submarines (but armed with conventional weapons) on the concluding day of the five-day-long 66th General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, Austria.

The AUKUS partners, as well as IAEA members, appreciated India for its deft diplomacy and timely action at the general conference for its “objective view” of the AUKUS initiative.

Chinese mission at the IAEA objected to the transfer and export of nuclear-weapon grade materials to Australia by the other two members of the AUKUS group, US and UK.

India took an objective view of the initiative at the IAEA’s annual general conference, recognising the soundness of the IAEA’s technical evaluation.India’s considered role helped many smaller countries take a clear stand on the Chinese proposal, sources from Vienna told The New Indian.

At the 66th general conference, China argued that this initiative was in violation of its responsibilities under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Furthermore, Chinese representatives went on to criticise the stance of the IAEA, sources told The New Indian.

In a recent report, Chinese media outlet Global Times carried an article stating, “The Chinese mission to the UN in Vienna warned in an exclusive statement sent to the Global Times on Sunday that the latest move by AUKUS which intends to expedite the making of Australia’s nuclear submarine is a blatant defiance of and trampling on the international nuclear non-proliferation system, and is an act of nuclear proliferation under the pretext of naval nuclear propulsion.”

The general conference of IAEA was represented by 175 nations in Vienna. In an election on September 29, Brazil, Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Denmark, Kenya, Namibia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Türkiye and Uruguay, the eleven countries have been elected to serve on the 35-member IAEA Board of Governors for the year 2022-23.

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