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Representative of China: China opposes IAEA budget for US, UK, Australia nuclear proliferation activities

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Xinhua News Agency, Vienna, November 18th. On November 18th, at the November Council meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (hereinafter referred to as the "Agency"), Wang Qun, China's permanent representative to the United Nations and other international organizations in Vienna, stated that China opposes the use of the agency's budget. Nuclear proliferation activities such as the cooperation of nuclear submarines of the United States, Britain and Australia.

Wang Qun said that the US-UK-Australia nuclear submarine cooperation is a blatant act of nuclear proliferation and a severe non-proliferation challenge facing the international community, which must be properly handled. To this end, the following three principles are crucial:

First, institutional nonproliferation mandates and political direction must be maintained. Non-proliferation is an important function of the IAEA. The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) not only legally endows the agency with non-proliferation functions, but also makes institutional arrangements for the implementation of non-proliferation goals through the agency's safeguards and supervision system.

Maintaining NPT, performing non-proliferation functions, and not advancing any military purpose are the original intention of the establishment of the institution and the foundation of its survival, and it must be consistent and unwavering. Adhering to the agency's non-proliferation function is to maintain the NPT and the international non-proliferation system. Therefore, the Agency must not be involved in any nuclear proliferation in any way and under any pretext. China opposes the agency's use of the budget for safeguards and supervision activities related to the trilateral nuclear submarine cooperation.

Second, we must adhere to the intergovernmental review process led by member states to deal with safeguards and supervision issues related to nuclear submarine cooperation among the three countries. It is the responsibility and obligation of all member States of the Agency to address this issue through the intergovernmental deliberation process and to reach a solution by consensus.

The intergovernmental review process led by member states of the agency was launched in November last year and has been continuously deepened after six discussions. This is not a substitute for the so-called technical exchanges or private grants between the three countries and the Secretariat. At the same time, the director-general of the agency should earnestly fulfill the obligations stipulated in the agency's "Statute" and other documents, and report to member states the status of nuclear submarine cooperation among the three countries in an open, objective and transparent manner, so as to create conditions for properly solving this issue through intergovernmental processes.

Third, it is necessary to adhere to the consensus approach in the intergovernmental review process to reach a solution to the safeguards and supervision issues involved in the trilateral nuclear submarine cooperation. Historically, any major issues such as the revision and interpretation of safeguards agreements have been widely participated by member states of the agency, and the recommendations formed are the result of consensus among member states. Safeguards agreements between the Agency and member states have also been approved by consensus by the Board of Governors since the Agency's inception. These are all documented. It will not be effective unless it is agreed by the Council. The reasons for this are obvious.

In view of the fact that nuclear submarine cooperation among the three countries involves the proliferation of nuclear weapons materials, any safeguard arrangement must go through an open intergovernmental process, with member states leading discussions and reaching conclusions through consensus. The Secretariat can only make corresponding safeguard arrangements with Australia in accordance with the authorization of member states, and has no right to make decisions without authorization. Even a supplementary arrangement to the existing comprehensive safeguards agreement with Australia must first be discussed and resolved by the Council through consensus.

Wang Qun emphasized that if the directors-general of the three countries and the agency forcibly promote the conclusion of relevant safeguard and supervision arrangements, no matter what method or name they use to create established facts, it will be invalid, and it will also seriously damage the unity of the agency and paralyze the agency's functions. Disintegrating the institution and even endangering the effectiveness and integrity of the NPT and the international nuclear non-proliferation system.

Finally, Wang Qun called on the three countries to think twice before acting, abandon the above-mentioned confrontational actions, and return to the right track of the international non-proliferation system; he called on the director-general of the agency to perform his duties and act in strict accordance with the agency's "Statute" and the authorization of member states; he called on all member states to work together Work together to take effective measures to jointly maintain the NPT and the international nuclear non-proliferation system.

(Editors in charge: Bai Yu, Yang Guangyu)

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