BEIJING, September 29. /TASS/. The creation of AUKUS, a trilateral security pact in the Indo-Pacific Region by Australia, the UK, and the US, came as a result of efforts aimed at deliberately abusing a loophole in international law, spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry Hua Chunying told a regular briefing on Wednesday.
"Simply put, it is a situation when three states conspired to abuse a loophole in international law to openly proliferate nuclear weapons," she said. "The IAEA guarantees and monitoring of Australian nuclear submarines will create a precedent which will affect rights and obligations of all NPT signatories and cause far-reaching consequences for the international non-proliferation regime," the diplomat added.
"It is in no way an issue to be addressed by the IAEA Secretariat with Australia, the UK, and the US. It is a problem that should be settled by all states that participate in this mechanism," she concluded.
On September 15, Australia, the UK and the US announced the establishment of a new security partnership — AUKUS. Under the agreement, Canberra plans to build at least eight US-designed nuclear-powered submarines. The move led to the scrapping of a defense contract with France, which was the biggest Australia ever inked.