Xinhua Commentary: Why the AUKUS nuclear deal is irresponsible and dangerous

Source: Xinhua| 2021-09-18 00:02:52|Editor: huaxia

BEIJING, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- The United States and Britain said recently that they will share highly sensitive nuclear submarine technology with Australia, a key part of the three countries' newly-established security partnership AUKUS.

The irresponsible and dangerous move fuelled by mentality of confrontation and exclusion will gravely undermine global non-proliferation efforts and jeopardize the region's peace and stability.

Exporting nuclear technology to a nuclear-free country is a blatant violation of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons(NPT). With over 190 signatories worldwide, the NPT has shown the international community's commitment to preventing the dispersal of nuclear weapons and promoting cooperation in peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

As signatories and nuclear-weapon states, the United States and Britain's flagrant nuclear technology assistance to Australia for military uses will undoubtedly give rise to proliferation of nuclear materials and technologies.

For years, the United States has been turning a blind eye as some of its allies pursue nuclear technologies and weapons. Yet it points an accusatory finger at the civilian nuclear projects of other countries.

Washington is once again playing double standards on nuclear exports and utilization,and using the issue as a tool for dangerous geopolitical game.

Meanwhile, countries in the Asia Pacific and the world at large have every reason to question the non-proliferation commitments of Australia, a country that has joined both the NPT and the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty.

Australia announced last year an aggressive defense strategy, sharply increasing its military spending by 40 percent to around 200 billion U.S. dollars over the next decade to acquire longer-range strike capabilities.

Canberra's excessive pursuit of military power has brought about uncertainties and risks to the region. Hugh White, professor of strategic studies at the Australian National University, warned that Australia's move will "further amplify the already loud signals" that there might be "a new Cold War in Asia."

Over the past few decades, Western countries have formed a number of exclusive clubs to dictate the global agenda in order to satisfy their self-serving purposes instead of the common interests of the wider world.

AUKUS, in the name of "ensuring peace and stability" in the region, is in fact no different from other small cliques such as the Five Eyes alliance and the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, also known as the Quad.

These closed-door groups, representing the interests of a handful of countries and applying international rule of law in a selective way, have departed from genuine multilateralism and are a grave threat to regional and global stability.

Regional mechanisms should work to enhance mutual trust and promote cooperation among countries, thus strengthening peace and development. If the United States, Britain and Australia truly want to bolster peace and stability in the region, they should immediately abandon their outdated Cold War mentality and small-clique politics, and learn to respect the rights and will of regional countries. Enditem

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