China questions 'irresponsible' U.S.-Australia-UK nuclear propulsion deal

The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Monday expressed serious concerns over a nuclear propulsion information sharing deal signed by the U.S., Australia and the UK and raised five questions over the deal.

Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson from the ministry, made the remarks when answering a question on the agreement which allows the exchange of sensitive "naval nuclear propulsion information" among the U.S., Australia and the UK.

It is the first agreement on the technology to be publicly signed since the three countries announced in September the formation of a defense alliance, AUKUS. 

China has expressed serious concerns over the three countries' cooperation on nuclear submarines, said Zhao, who called such move "irresponsible."

The spokesperson further accused the tripartite cooperation of deliberately increasing regional tensions, stimulating the arms race, threatening regional peace and stability, and undermining international nuclear non-proliferation efforts.

"What information will the three countries share? Does it conform to the international obligations shouldered by the three countries? Will it cause nuclear proliferation? How can the three countries ensure that relevant nuclear materials and technologies will not be used to develop nuclear weapons? How to prevent other countries from following such wrong actions?" Zhao raised five questions over the deal.

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'Threat to regional stability': China slams Australia-UK-U.S. nuke submarine pact

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