By Hui Zhang
The most significant achievement to emerge from the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit was a pledge by 35 countries to observe the terms of a joint agreement, known as Strengthening Nuclear Security Implementation. This document committed the signatories to incorporate the principles and guidelines of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)regarding nuclear security into their national laws, and to allow teams of international experts to periodically evaluate their security procedures. Promoted strongly by the chairs of all three nuclear summits—the United States, South Korea, and the Netherlands— the 2014 initiative is an important step towards creating a robust global security system designed to prevent nuclear materials from falling into the hands of terrorists.
Yet China, along with Russia, India, and Pakistan, did not join the pledge. Beijing has not offered any explanations....
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Note: This article originally appeared on the website of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
Hui Zhang is a physicist and a senior research associate at the Project on Managing the Atom in the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.