(Geneva) The United States on Thursday denied plans to equip its Australian ally with nuclear-powered submarines, denying China’s accusation of violating the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and instead presented it as a plan with exemplary protections.
“Australia will block this project, which it wants to end with the United States and the United Kingdom,” the Foreign Exchange Agreement said, adding that during a press conference, a foreign ministry official did not want to be named.
Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom signed a defense agreement (AUKUS) in October, calling on the Australian navy to equip itself with nuclear-powered submarines.
Brazil also wants to buy a nuclear-powered submarine.
This type of submarine is currently only available in nuclear-armed countries.
The AUKUS agreement led to the spectacular conclusion of the Franco-Australian agreement on conventional propulsion submarines.
China, for its part, described AUKUS as a “very irresponsible” attack on the stability of the region.
The U.S. official assured that the unprecedented agreement was “precisely the reason why Australia and the United Kingdom (this plan) are committed to building exemplary defenses”.
“The world can be confident that uranium will not be converted into a nuclear program,” he said, adding that Australia would not build its submarines on conventional weapons and nuclear power and would “not build any nuclear infrastructure”. Can contribute to the manufacture of weapons in its soil.
However, he acknowledged that this would not prevent China from raising the issue at the next NPT review conference in New York next month.
“I expect China to raise the AKUS issue at any time.
A recent Pentagon report estimates that China is developing its nuclear arsenal much faster than expected, and that it can already launch nuclear-armed ballistic missiles from land, sea and air and have up to 700 nuclear weapons by 2027.
He called Beijing a “manipulation” of the United States.
The U.S. official said it was not possible for AUKUS to weigh the results of the first review conference since 2015.
He explained that the United States hopes that this conference will make it possible to expand the definition of nuclear risk in particular.