Strengthen Global Nuclear Security Architecture and Promote Global Nuclear Security Governance
– Remarks at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington D.C.
H.E. Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China
Washington D.C., 1 April 2016
It gives me great pleasure to join you in Washington D.C. for this important discussion on international nuclear security. I want to thank President Obama and the U.S. government for the thoughtful arrangements.
Sixty years ago, humanity started the peaceful use of nuclear energy and embarked on a path to strengthen nuclear security. Over the past 60 years, thanks to the concerted efforts of the international community, the public awareness of nuclear security has been greatly enhanced, nuclear security cooperation has yielded fruitful results, and the nuclear security capability of countries has markedly improved.
The Nuclear Security Summit process, which started in 2010, has provided a major boost to international nuclear security. Six years on, from developing common goals, establishing key priorities to mapping out the blueprint for the future, we have made our solid contribution to this great cause.
Two years ago, at the Third Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, I suggested that countries should follow a sensible, coordinated and balanced approach to nuclear security, and put it on the track of sound and sustainable development. I am pleased to note that new progress has been made in improving global nuclear security over the past two years.
That being said, we have no reason to be self-complacent and slacken our efforts. Looking around the world, the global landscape is going through profound changes unseen in the past. New threats and challenges keep emerging in the security field. The root causes of terrorism are far from being removed. Nuclear terrorism remains a grave threat to international security.
Looking ahead, a more robust global nuclear security architecture is the prerequisite for the sound development of nuclear energy. It is also an important step for promoting global security governance, building a new type of international relations and improving world order. The conclusion of the Nuclear Security Summit will not be the end of our endeavor, rather it will be the beginning of a new journey.
At the Summit in The Hague, I called for the building of a global nuclear security architecture featuring fairness and win-win cooperation. The principle of fairness secures a strong foundation, a cooperative approach generates momentum for development, while a win-win prospect gives us greater confidence. Together, they will provide strong and sustainable institutional guarantee for mankind to benefit from nuclear energy with security. We should work together and make fresh efforts to realize this grand objective.
– Stepping up political input and sticking to the direction of addressing both symptoms and root causes. As national leaders, we have the responsibility to ensure that nuclear security gets adequate attention, and it is necessary to assess the international nuclear terrorism situation on a regular basis. We must build international consensus on enhanced nuclear security, have zero-tolerance for nuclear terrorism with no discrimination, push for the full implementation of the legal obligations and political commitments on nuclear security, and give an effective response to new challenges and threats.
As a Chinese saying goes, for a tree to grow tall, it needs to have deep roots. And we have always wanted to find a solution that addresses the root cause of the problem. We must bear in mind the well-being of humanity, build a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation, steadfastly advance global security governance, uphold a peaceful and stable international environment, promote common development and prosperity of all countries, and facilitate mutual learning and exchanges between different civilizations. Only in this way can we remove the breeding ground of nuclear terrorism at an early date.
– Stepping up national responsibility and tightening up a line of defense that is sustainable. Just as a country makes its own choice to develop nuclear energy, it bears unshirkable responsibility to ensure nuclear security. Taking into account national conditions, we must, at the national level, plan and implement nuclear security strategy, formulate mid-and-long term development plans for nuclear security, improve nuclear security legislation and monitoring mechanism, and ensure that relevant work receives sufficient input and support.
Strategic layout will get nowhere without support of concrete measures. The threat posed by nuclear terrorism is highly asymmetrical and unpredictable. Day-to-day prevention and crisis response must go together. It is important to detect and nip such threats in the bud before they become real and turn into crisis, build a basic line of defense, and prevent new risks whereby terrorists manipulate international network and financial system to stir up trouble. Moreover, it is important to work out crisis response plan which is comprehensive and stage-specific, accurately assess risks, decisively handle incidents, and timely put the situation under control.
– Stepping up international cooperation and enhancing the momentum of coordination for common progress. Nuclear terrorism is the common enemy of all mankind. Nuclear security incidents will have impacts that go beyond national borders. In the age of connectivity, no country can deal with such problems alone, and no country can stay immune from their impacts. Under the precondition of respect for national sovereignty, all countries should participate in nuclear security affairs, and adopt an open and inclusive spirit to forge a community of shared future on nuclear security.
Existing international organizations and mechanisms can serve as solid platforms for international cooperation on nuclear security in the future. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) can play a central role to coordinate and consolidate global resources for nuclear security, and use its professional expertise to serve all countries. As the most universal international organization, the United Nations can continue to play an important role. Other organizations and mechanisms can also play a useful, complementary role and promote practical cooperation in law-enforcement and other fields. In this process, it is necessary to accommodate the legitimate demand of developing countries and provide them with assistance.
– Stepping up the culture of nuclear security and creating an atmosphere of joint efforts and shared benefits. The human factor is the most important element in the strengthening of global nuclear security architecture. The awareness of the rule of law, the sense of urgency, and the spirit of self-discipline and coordination are central to the nuclear security culture. As such, every one working in this field must follow their guidance in thinking and action so that they will readily understand their responsibilities and fulfill their duties.
It is equally important that the academic community and the general public also foster the awareness of nuclear security. We must encourage think tanks of all countries to closely follow the developments of international efforts against nuclear terrorism, actively carry out studies in nuclear security and put forth more valuable recommendations on work to strengthen global nuclear security architecture and enhance all countries’ nuclear security. In addition, we must do a good job to spread the knowledge of nuclear security and increase the public understanding of and attention to nuclear security.
As the largest developing country, China has always been committed to development and utilization of nuclear energy while ensuring security in the first place. This is to bridge the gap in energy supply, and address the challenges posed by climate change. China is the country with the fastest growth of nuclear power. At the same time, it has kept a good record of nuclear security. Since the Summit in The Hague, China has made new progress in the field of nuclear security.
– In pursuit of excellence through constant improvement, China has strived to explore effective ways to strengthen nuclear security. We have already incorporated nuclear security in China’s national security system, written it into the National Security Law and defined its strategic nature. We are constantly improving the national legal framework concerning nuclear security and studying the promulgation of law on atomic energy and law on nuclear security. We have formulated and implemented the mid-to-long term work plan on nuclear security, and we are making efforts to improve monitoring and law-enforcement mechanisms, carry out capacity building for all personnel in this industry and organize various kinds of mock exercises to raise the ability of emergency response.
– Keeping its promise on nuclear security, China has fulfilled its international obligations and political commitment. China has ratified all the international legal instruments in the field of nuclear security, consistently and strictly implemented related Security Council resolutions, and actively supported and participated in international initiatives on nuclear security. The Center of Excellence on Nuclear Security I promised at the Summit in The Hague has been completed a year ahead of schedule and is now operational in Beijing; the highly enriched uranium (HEU)-fueled Miniature Neutron Source Reactor (MNSR) of the China Institute of Atomic Energy has been smoothly converted to start using safer Low Enriched Uranium (LEU) fuels; and positive progress has been made in the Chinese-assisted program to convert a HEU-fueled research reactor in Ghana.
– Aspiring for win-win cooperation, China is vigorously promoting international exchanges and cooperation. China firmly supports the IAEA in implementing the Action Plan on Nuclear Safety and will increase donations to the Nuclear Security Fund. China and the IAEA have agreed to officially start implementing the first International Physical Protection Advisory Service this year. This February, China and the United States successfully held the first annual Nuclear Security Dialogue. We will also deepen our exchanges and cooperation with other countries, the UN and the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism.
While stepping up its own nuclear security, China will actively advance related international cooperation, share its technologies and expertise and contribute resources and platforms. I hereby announce:
First, China will build a network for capacity building on nuclear security. We will use existing platforms including the Center of Excellence on Nuclear Security and the China Customs Radiation Detection Training Center to carry out training of nuclear security professionals, exercises and exchanges regarding nuclear security technologies and other activities. We welcome the participation of Asia Pacific countries, countries along the Belt and Road and other developing countries in relevant projects and will stay in close cooperation with the IAEA.
Second, China will promote cooperation model for less use of HEU. We support all countries in minimizing the use of HEU according to their needs as long as it is economically and technologically viable. We are willing to build on the Ghana model and help countries convert HEU-fueled MNSR imported from China under the principle of voluntarism and pragmatism. We will present to other interested countries the multi-party cooperation model for converting HEU-fueled MNSR for their reference.
Third, China will implement the action plan on strengthening security of radioactive sources. To prevent the large amount of radioactive sources from falling into the hands of terrorists, we will, in the coming five years, review the radioactive sources within China, improve the security system and give priority to conducting real-time monitoring of high-risk mobile radioactive sources. We stand ready to share our experience with other countries and work with them to enhance the security monitoring of radioactive sources.
Fourth, China will launch the technological support initiative against crisis of nuclear terrorism. We will, together with like-minded countries and organizations, carry out scientific research in the fields of civilian nuclear material analysis and tracing, actively organize mock exercises and jointly enhance our capacity for addressing crisis.
Fifth, China will promote its national security monitoring system for nuclear power. China applies the most stringent security monitoring to ensure the safety and security of the nuclear power stations within China and those exported to other parts of the world. Nothing is left to chance. Relying on the National Research and Development Center for Nuclear and Radiation Safety and Security Monitoring Technologies, we will help others enhance their capacity in security monitoring and contribute our share to enhancing nuclear power safety and security worldwide.
What we plant in spring will blossom in summer, come to fruition in autumn and sustain us throughout the winter. The more we plough, the more we will gain. As long as we cooperate in good faith and continue to step up nuclear security, nuclear energy will certainly deliver a brighter future to mankind.