China Asks Indonesia to Voice Concern on Australia's Nuclear Submarines

Arfi Bambani
Director General of the Arms Control Department, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), Fu Cong
Director General of the Arms Control Department, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), Fu Cong - For the first time, the five-nation leaders China, France, Russia, Great Britain, and the United States issued a joint agreement to prevent nuclear war and avoid a nuclear race.

China also encourages Indonesia to voice its concerns over Australia's planned nuclear submarine development. "Indonesia as the largest country in ASEAN must voice that (concern)," said Director General of the Arms Control Department, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), Fu Cong, to ANTARA in Beijing, Tuesday, January 4, 2022.

Met after a press conference on a joint agreement with the five nuclear powers, he expressed his support for Indonesia to be concerned about Australia's decision to acquire nuclear-powered submarines, even though the nuclear weapon is not part of the plan.

Previously, Indonesia and Malaysia expressed concern over the nuclear submarine plan through the Trilateral Security Treaty of Australia, Great Britain, and the United States (Aukus). Fu said the plan was part of the US and UK's double standards on nuclear matters, especially when it comes to Iran and North Korea.

The five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council that possess nuclear weapons (P5) late Monday agreed for the first time to prevent war and avoid nuclear competition. "The agreement confirms that nuclear weapons cannot be used for competition and war," he said at a press conference.

The agreement, he explained, also contains a commitment that no countries with nuclear weapons will target each other. Likewise, they will not target countries that do not have nuclear weapons.

"This agreement will help increase mutual trust and reduce the risk of misunderstandings and miscalculations," he said.

Fu further said the agreement emphasized the importance of avoiding military confrontation and the arms race. Therefore, he hopes that the P5 countries carry out the agreement according to their promises.

The Tenth Conference on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) was supposed to open on Tuesday, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was postponed again. "This agreement provides an important signal of the P5's commitment to reducing nuclear risks to maintain strategic stability globally," he said.

He also felt confident that the international community would take the opportunity at the NPT Conference to recognize the importance of a treaty, reaffirm its commitments, and support the three pillars (nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation, and the right to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes).

"China will continue to communicate and coordinate with the other four countries to enhance mutual trust and work together to build global peace and security," Fu said.

Tag # china # nuclear # nuclear weapons # nuclear submarines # australia # indonesia # geopolitics

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