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China joins nuclear group
(China Daily)
Updated: 2004-05-28 22:46

China joined a worldwide organization of nuclear-capable countries whose aim is to boost non-proliferation efforts.

The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) agreed in Gothenburg, Sweden on Friday to accept China as a member, a source with the Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence said.

"China's accession to the NSG contributes tremendously to the international non-proliferation effort," said the commission's Vice-Minister Zhang Huazhu.

Founded in 1975, the NSG is an unofficial organization exercising control on nuclear exports. Before China's accession, it was made up of 40 member states including the United States, Britain, France and Russia.

As a member of the NSG, China will strengthen exchanges and co-operation with other members and contribute more for non- proliferation, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao here on Friday.

Liu said this shows that the international community has attached great importance to China's role in international non- proliferation and its approval of China's effort in this regard.

As a member of the NSG, China will strictly abide by its principles and requirements in controlling the export of nuclear and nuclear dual-use items.

China applied to join the NSG on January 26 this year.

In 1984, China joined the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and in 1992 the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

China's NSG accession not only enhances the universality and effectiveness of the international nuclear non-proliferation mechanism, but is helpful for the construction of global non-proliferation systems, said Zhang.

As a nuclear power and IAEA member, China has consistently supported and participated in international co-operation against nuclear proliferation, he said, noting that since 1984, China has joined several international treaties and organizations on non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and materials.

China in 1989 signed an international treaty on nuclear material protection, and in 1997, enacted laws to regulate nuclear material export. China is now rectifying its domestic laws and regulations on nuclear exports so as to meet the international standards of the NSG, said official sources.

China pursues a policy of not advocating, encouraging or engaging in the proliferation of nuclear weapons, nor helping other countries develop nuclear weapons, Zhang said.

China's nuclear exports will strictly follow the principle of peaceful use and IAEA's supervision, he acknowledged, adding that the non-proliferation effort should not harm other countries, especially developing countries' right to use nuclear energy peacefully.

Under current circumstances, the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction is conducive to the international and regional peace and security as well as the common interest of the international community, Zhang said.

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