As signatories and nuclear-weapon states, the United States and Britain's flagrant nuclear technology assistance to Australia for military uses will undoubtedly give rise to proliferation of nuclear materials and technologies.
For years, the United States has been turning a blind eye as some of its allies pursue nuclear technologies and weapons. Yet it points an accusatory finger at the civilian nuclear projects of other countries.
Washington is once again playing double standards on nuclear exports and utilization, and using the issue as a tool for dangerous geopolitical game.
Meanwhile, countries in the Asia Pacific and the world at large have every reason to question the non-proliferation commitments of Australia, a country that has joined both the NPT and the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty.
Australia announced last year an aggressive defense strategy, sharply increasing its military spending by 40 percent to around 200 billion U.S. dollars over the next decade to acquire longer-range strike capabilities.
Canberra's excessive pursuit of military power has brought about uncertainties and risks to the region. Hugh White, professor of strategic studies at the Australian National University, warned that Australia's move will "further amplify the already loud signals" that there might be "a new Cold War in Asia."
Over the past few decades, Western countries have formed a number of exclusive clubs to dictate the global agenda in order to satisfy their self-serving purposes instead of the common interests of the wider world.
AUKUS, in the name of "ensuring peace and stability" in the region, is in fact no different from other small cliques such as the Five Eyes alliance and the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, also known as the Quad.
These closed-door groups, representing the interests of a handful of countries and applying international rule of law in a selective way, have departed from genuine multilateralism and are a grave threat to regional and global stability.
Regional mechanisms should work to enhance mutual trust and promote cooperation among countries, thus strengthening peace and development. If the United States, Britain and Australia truly want to bolster peace and stability in the region, they should immediately abandon their outdated Cold War mentality and small-clique politics, and learn to respect the rights and will of regional countries.