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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on September 29, 2021
2021-09-29 21:11

CCTV: On September 28, IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi said the US-UK-Australia submarine cooperation is a "very tricky" issue in terms of inspections. It will be the first time that a non-nuclear-weapon state regulated by the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) introduces a nuclear submarine, and it means highly-enriched uranium used in power reactors of nuclear submarines will be excluded from IAEA supervision. The IAEA has to enter into a very complex, technical negotiation to see to it that there is no weakening of the nuclear non-proliferation regime. On the same day, the Philippine Presidential Spokesperson said that Philippine President Duterte is concerned that AUKUS could trigger a "nuclear arms race". What is China's comment?

Hua Chunying: The international community is closely following and is vigilant about AUKUS and the plan for nuclear submarine cooperation. Many countries have expressed concerns and doubts. China has taken note of the statements of Director General Grossi and President Duterte.

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi pointed out yesterday when co-chairing the China-EU High-Level Strategic Dialogue with Josep Borrell, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, that such move of the US, the UK and Australia will pose three potential dangers to regional peace and stability and the international order.

First, the danger of Cold War resurgence. The three countries, drawing lines along ideology, have built a new military bloc which will heighten geopolitical tensions. When the international community widely rejects Cold War and divisions, the US blatantly violates its political statement of not seeking a new Cold War and gangs up with others to create a small Anglo-Saxon "clique", putting geopolitical self-interests above international solidarity. This is typical Cold War mentality.

Second, the danger of arms race. The move will spur regional countries to accelerate the development of military capabilities, and even seek to break the nuclear threshold and increase the risk of military conflicts. The US, on the one hand, sanctions and suppresses some countries with the excuse of developing nuclear technologies, and flagrantly transfers nuclear technologies to non-nuclear states on the other. This is typical double-standard.

Third, the danger of nuclear proliferation. In the name of building nuclear-powered submarines, the provision of nuclear materials to a non-nuclear-weapon state will exclude weapons-grade highly-enriched uranium from necessary supervision and pose huge nuclear proliferation risks. The move will bring shocks to the non-proliferation system, undercut the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty and ASEAN countries' efforts to build a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (NWFZ) in Southeast Asia. This is typical contempt of rules.

It should draw special attention from the international community that the IAEA safeguards mechanism cannot verify whether Australia will use the highly enriched uranium in the power reactors of nuclear submarines for nuclear weapons. As Director General Grossi said, the nuclear submarine cooperation among the US, the UK and Australia will be the first time that a non-nuclear-weapon state introduces a nuclear submarine, which will exclude the highly-enriched uranium from IAEA's supervision. In brief, this is a malicious exploitation of loopholes in international rules for out-and-out proliferation activities. Supervisions on the Australian nuclear submarines will set a precedent, concerns the rights and obligations of all IAEA member states, especially signatories to the NPT, and will have far-reaching impact on the international non-proliferation system. This is not an issue between the IAEA Secretariat and the three countries; it shall be handled by all member states through joint consultation. China will stay in communication with the IAEA Secretariat and other member states to resolutely defend the authority and efficacy of the international non-proliferation system.

TASS News Agency: According to Reuters, the United States has reached out to China diplomatically about reducing its purchases of Iranian crude oil. It is said that this was one of the issues raised by US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman when she visited China in late July. Do you have any comments on this information?

Hua Chunying: China's position is clear and consistent on normal economic and trade cooperation between China and Iran. China and Iran always conduct cooperation following the commercial principles with equality, mutual benefit and win-win results within the framework of international law. We firmly oppose any unilateral sanction, and urge the US to remove the so-called "long-arm jurisdiction" over third-party entities and individuals as soon as possible.

NHK: Today, Japan's former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida is elected as the head of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). He is set to succeed Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. Do you have any comment?

Hua Chunying: We have taken note of the election result. China is ready to work with Japan's new administration to observe the principles and spirit set out in the four political documents between China and Japan, deepen practical cooperation in various fields, and move forward China-Japan ties along the right track in a sound and steady manner.

Hubei Media Group: On September 27, permanent missions of China, Belarus, the DPRK and Venezuela held a videoconference in Geneva on the sidelines of the 48th session of the Human Rights Council with the theme of US, Canada and Australia's violation of indigenous people's human rights. Representatives of Canadian and Australian indigenous people as well as Chinese scholars disclosed the severe crimes committed by the US, Canada and Australia. Representatives from many countries urged the three countries to take practical measures to improve the human rights situation of indigenous people. Can you share more information and what is China's comment on the meeting?

Hua Chunying: The videoconference was co-hosted by the permanent missions of China and three other countries in Geneva, which saw active participation from permanent missions, NGO representatives and reporters from many countries.

The Chinese representative pointed out at the meeting that indigenous people's human rights in the US, Canada and Australia have become a "black hole." The meeting was held for indigenous people in the three countries because their voice should be heard and their rights valued by more people. The international community should devote more attention to the human rights problems of the indigenous people in the US, Canada, Australia, investigate violation of indigenous people's human rights and bring the perpetrators to justice. The three countries should reflect upon themselves, thoroughly investigate the history of indigenous residential schools, return justice to and reveal truth for indigenous people that they deserve and earnestly address their own severe human rights problems.

At the meeting, representatives of indigenous tribes and descendants in Canada and Australia said, for centuries, colonizers in pursuit of self-interests took control of lands that indigenous people had lived for generations and blatantly plundered all kinds of resources, leading to long-term racial discrimination and economic exploitation of indigenous people, and perils of genocide and culture elimination. Colonizers, under the banner of protection, forcibly took indigenous children from their parents and sent them to residential schools. Their real agenda was to wipe out indigenous languages and words, knowledge system and identity toward eventual ass