torsdag 16. mars 2023

Chinese official asks if Australia’s Aukus nuclear submarines intended for ‘sightseeing’

A Chinese embassy official asked Australian officials during an Aukus briefing whether the nuclear-powered submarines were intended for “sightseeing”, according to multiple sources. Guardian Australia understands several others in the room found the intervention curious, because the Australian government has made no secret of the fact the nuclear-powered submarines are to be used by the Royal Australian Navy.

The comment was made during a briefing held by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on Wednesday at which dozens of representatives from other diplomatic missions were also present. It is believed to have been made in the context of Beijing’s longstanding claims that the Aukus deal is a breach of either the letter or spirit of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).