Against of the backdrop of the just-concluded fourth Nuclear Security Summit (NSS), experts spoke highly of China's role in maintaining the global nuclear security system.[Special coverage]
Ted Galen Carpenter, senior fellow for defense and foreign policy at the Washington-based Cato Institute, told Xinhua on Friday that China has repeatedly emphasized the significance of nuclear issues and contributed to the improvement of dialogue among major countries.
Carpenter agreed with the statement by Chinese President Xi, who took part in all the activities on the NSS schedule, as it, in Carpenter's opinion, correctly noted that the international community needs to take the danger of nuclear terrorism more seriously and pay special attention to the proliferation of nuclear materials, not just completed weapons.
In his speech at the summit, Xi expounded the "sensible, coordinated and balanced approach" to promote the nuclear security system, a concept he first proposed at the third NSS in the Netherlands in 2014.
According to Chen Kai, secretary-general of China Arms Control and Disarmament Association (CACDA), Xi's offer and the statement are very "inspiring" for maintaining global nuclear security, and can help the international community reach more consensus on how to improve the handling of nuclear terrorism.
Speaking at a press briefing on the last day of the NSS, Chen said remarkable achievements have been made in China, as can be seen in building the national Center of Excellence on Nuclear Security, the strengthened management of nuclear and radioactive material, the enhanced nuclear emergency response, and tougher combat against illicit trafficking of nuclear material.
Chen added the joint statement by China and the United States will facilitate global nuclear security governance and promote the fight against nuclear terrorism.
Zhu Xuhui, a veteran CACDA expert, said, "China has done substantive work in the field of nuclear security and made considerable progress in working with international bodies like IAEA as well as concerned countries."
Zhang Hui, senior researcher with the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs of Harvard University, said Xi's proposal "is a comprehensive and constructive guide to strengthen the global nuclear security system."
This statement, vital to sustain an effective global nuclear security system, is the necessary base for further strengthening international cooperation on nuclear security, Zhang said, referring to Xi's highlighting of international coordination and cooperation in combating the evolving threat of nuclear terrorism, which knows no borders.
In his speech, President Xi further emphasized the importance of strengthening the nuclear security culture.
"Indeed, to make sure that nuclear security systems are actually implemented effectively, the development of a strong security culture is very imperative," Zhang noted.
Kenneth Luongo, president of the Partnership for Global Security, said the statement is a "very positive development."
"The U.S. and China have had cooperation on nuclear security over the years, but annual meetings make a big difference. They help to drive progress on important issues and also provide a forum for discussion, which is very helpful," he said.
Commenting on the results of the summit, Cato's Carpenter noted that the overall outcome is "mildly encouraging," as major nations, nuclear capable or not, have "shown more awareness of the problems than before" and "begun to talk more seriously about possible solutions."
Luongo said the summit had "useful" outcomes, which were particularly due to China's dedication.
"The agreement to support the Implementation Initiative on nuclear security is a very positive step forward," said Luongo.
The NSS, a biennial event initiated by President Obama, gathered leaders and envoys from 52 countries and four international organizations this year. The six-year-old mechanism in the current format came to an end with the conclusion of the 2016 summit.