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P5 cooperation urged for nuclear safety

By Pu Zhendong | China Daily | Updated: 2014-04-15 07:20

Countries should abolish the zero-sum Cold War mentality to achieve common security, take care of each other's reasonable concerns and achieve global governance of the nuclear field, a senior Chinese diplomat said on Monday.

"China stands ready to work with the international community, including other nuclear weapon states, based on trust and understanding to advance the goal through dialogue as equals," Vice-Foreign Minister Li Baodong said in Beijing at the fifth P5 Conference.

The two-day meeting is the latest in a series involving the United States, China, France, Russia and the United Kingdom aimed at furthering the disarmament goals laid out in the 2010 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference Action Plan.

It is the first time that China has hosted the P5 meeting.

Li said China has consistently supported the complete prohibition and destruction of nuclear weapons, while observing a defensive nuclear policy and abiding by its non-proliferation obligations.

"China also actively participates in international cooperation on the peaceful use of nuclear energy and strives to achieve global governance of the nuclear sphere," he said.

Li said the P5's leadership is imperative in solving problems in the nuclear area and guiding the direction of the global governance process.

"Our five countries, as nuclear-weapon states and as permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, shoulder the responsibility of maintaining global stability. Like five fingers, we can only clench a powerful fist by deepening strategic trust and cooperation," Li said.

"We have to create a peaceful and stable international environment and eliminate sources of conflict and turmoil."

In late March, at the third Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, President Xi Jinping vowed to strengthen China's nuclear security capabilities while working with other countries to build an international nuclear security system.

Su Hao, director of the center for strategic and conflict management at China Foreign Affairs University, said China, as one of the legitimate nuclear powers, should work with Washington and Moscow to advance nuclear arms control and security building.

"China is also confronted with nuclear threats from terrorists, from crisis on the Korean Peninsula and from Japan, which possesses nuclear materials far beyond its practical demand," Su said.

Moreover, the radioactive leakage accident at Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant in 2011 has prompted the international community to further reinforce secure operation at nuclear facilities, he said.

"No individual country can work out the challenges of nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and peaceful use of the energy by itself, given that the globe has evolved into a community of common destiny," he said.

Rose Gottemoeller, the US under-secretary of state in charge of arms control and global security affairs, said the P5 conference provides a chance for the five countries to account for work that has been done over the past year.

"China, for example, has been very important in organizing the work on a glossary of terms that have to do with nuclear strategic stability," Gottemoeller said. "We are very proud of the efforts that we've had under way to turn out a glossary of terms, so that we enhance our mutual understanding."

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