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How India sank Chinese attempts to torpedo AUKUS at IAEA

"New Delhi's considered role helped many smaller countries take a clear stand against the Chinese proposal," sources said. To note, India maintains defence and strategic ties with the AUKUS partners.

How India sank Chinese attempts to torpedo AUKUS submarine deal
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First Published Oct 1, 2022, 1:31 PM IST

New Delhi: India's deft diplomacy forced China to withdraw its draft resolution against the AUKUS (Australia-UK-US) pact at the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) General Conference in Vienna on Friday, sources said. 

The AUKUS pact seeks to provide Australia with nuclear-powered submarines (but armed with conventional weapons). Australia intends to acquire at least eight nuclear-powered submarines under the AUKUS alliance. The alliance is majorly viewed as a response by the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia to China's belligerent and increasingly assertive behaviour in the Indo-Pacific region.

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The conference was held from September 26-30. As per sources, China argued that this initiative was in violation of its responsibilities under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The country claimed that the AUKUS partnership was an act of nuclear proliferation as it involved an "illegal" transfer of nuclear weapon materials. Beijing also criticized the role of the IAEA in this regard.

India took an objective view of the initiative, recognising the soundness of the technical evaluation by the IAEA, sources said, adding that the Indian Mission to the IAEA in Vienna worked closely with many IAEA member states in this regard. 

"New Delhi's considered role helped many smaller countries take a clear stand against the Chinese proposal," sources said. To note, India maintains defence and strategic ties with the AUKUS partners.

Realizing that its resolution would not get majority support, the Xi Jinping administration withdrew its draft resolution on September 30. Earlier, the Chinese were confident enough of getting success in this exercise. 

"India's deft and impactful diplomacy was deeply appreciated by IAEA member states, particularly the AUKUS partners," the sources said.

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