Cooperation with China vital for global nuclear security: US

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Washington, March 29 (IANS) Cooperation between China and the US is “vital” to ensure global nuclear security, Thomas Countryman, US assistant secretary of state for international security and nonproliferation, has said.

The two countries have worked together successfully on last year’s comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran and on the recent UN Security Council resolution on North Korea’s nuclear test and satellite launch, the official told reporters ahead of the fourth Nuclear Security Summit.

“So we cooperate and we are becoming ever closer in our cooperation in preventing the spread of the technology that can be used to make nuclear weapons,” Xinhua quoted him a ssaying.

“That’s how important the relationship with China is,” he said.

Earlier this month, the Nuclear Security Centre of Excellence, the largest nuclear security centre in the Asia-Pacific region, which was financed by both governments, opened in Beijing.

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Beijing and Washington have “worked very closely and very well” in the establishment and opening of the centre, which was the result of the first Nuclear Security Summit held in Washington in 2010, said Bonnie Jenkins, US coordinator for threat reduction programmes.

“That’s all very positive, and we see this as a way in which we can continue to work with China on other areas, including nonproliferation,” Jenkins said, while calling the centre “a really strong effort” in strengthening nuclear security.

The US will host the fourth Nuclear Security Summit in Washington D.C. from March 31 to April 1. It will provide a forum for leaders to engage with each other and to reinforce commitment at the highest levels to securing and eliminating nuclear materials, and preventing nuclear smuggling.

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