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September 25, 2009

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Hu unveils blueprint for making world safer

PRESIDENT Hu Jintao yesterday laid out for an international audience China's recommendations for building a safer world through nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament.

During an address at the UN Security Council nuclear summit, Hu said "nuclear proliferation remains a pressing issue and nuclear disarmament a long and arduous task."

"To realize a safer world for all, we must first and foremost remove the threat of nuclear war," he said.

The Chinese president called for efforts to be made in the following areas:

First, to maintain global strategic balance and vigorously advance nuclear disarmament.

All nuclear-weapon states should fulfill in good faith obligations under Article VI of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and publicly undertake to not seek permanent possession of nuclear weapons, Hu said.

"Countries with the largest nuclear arsenals should continue to take the lead in making drastic and substantive reductions in their nuclear weapons," he said.

Second, to abandon the nuclear deterrence policy based on first use and take credible steps to reduce the threat of nuclear weapons.

"All nuclear-weapon states should make an unequivocal commitment of unconditionally not using or threatening to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones and conclude a legally-binding international instrument in this regard," Hu said.

Third, to consolidate the international nuclear non-proliferation regime and prevent the proliferation of nuclear arms.

"All countries should join the (non-proliferation treaty), and real efforts should be made to uphold and enhance its authority and effectiveness. The function of the International Atomic Energy Agency in safeguards should be strengthened," Hu said.

Fourth, to fully respect the right of all countries to the peaceful use of nuclear energy and carry out active international cooperation.

"Developed countries should actively assist developing countries in developing and using nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. The IAEA should increase input to promote technical cooperation and assistance in nuclear power, nuclear safety and security, and nuclear technology application," Hu said.

Fifth, to take strong steps to enhance nuclear security and reduce nuclear risks.

"Countries should act in strict observance of all international legal instruments governing nuclear security, take credible steps to ensure the security of their nuclear facilities and materials and prevent the diversion of nuclear materials with effective means," he said.

The international community should intensify cooperation and combat nuclear terrorism through concerted efforts, Hu said.

The Chinese leader reiterated his country's firm commitment to a nuclear strategy of self-defense.

"We have adhered to the policy of no-first-use of nuclear weapons at any time and under any circumstance, and made the unequivocal commitment that we will unconditionally not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones," he said.

Hu was in New York for a series of UN meetings and was scheduled to attend a financial summit of the Group of 20 leading economies later yesterday and today.


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