hinese President Xi Jinping attended the fourth Nuclear Security Summit held in Washington, DC on March 31 and April 1, during which China and the US published a joint statement pledging to improve cooperation on nuclear security.
As in previous years, the 2016 summit continued to examine how attending countries could respond to nuclear terrorism, and how to improve the security of nuclear stockpiles. During the summit, Xi spoke about China’s efforts on nuclear security, calling on each country to take more responsibility for nuclear security and enhance international cooperation on the issue.
Xi’s proposals were echoed by US President Barack Obama, who said that the US hopes to deepen its nuclear security cooperation with China. Just one month prior to the summit, an experimental Sino-US nuclear security demonstration center opened its doors in Beijing. The biggest nuclear security project between China and the US to date, the center will provide Asia-Pacific countries with advanced training in nuclear security procedures.
According to Chinese media reports, China and the US have cooperated on nuclear security since 2005, when the two countries jointly conducted a nuclear waste management program in Beijing. The new Beijing center, which covers an area of 53 square kilometers, entered the planning phase in 2011 and was completed at the end of 2015 following 28 rounds of bilateral negotiations.
“The demonstration center was initially designed as a simple training center,” Xu Zhenhua, deputy director of China Nuclear Security Technology Center, told NewsChina. “But, during the negotiations, China proposed expanding its functions. Now, the center serves to conduct cooperation and training on nuclear security, nuclear waste management, nuclear import and export management, as well as performing testing and issuing certification for relevant technologies.” At the summit, a scale model of the Beijing demonstration center was exhibited as an example of Sino-US cooperation on nuclear security, which the Chinese side is already using as an example of what top leaders have termed a “new big power relationship.”