China and the United States on Tuesday underlined in a joint statement their commitment to the eventual realization of a world free of nuclear weapons.
They also reiterated their opposition to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the statement issued after talks between Chinese President Hu Jintao and visiting U.S. President Barack Obama.
The two sides will jointly uphold the international nuclear non-proliferation regime, and agreed to enhance non-proliferation cooperation on the basis of mutual respect and equality, the statement said.
They promised to work together for a successful Review Conference of Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in 2010, and committed to pursue ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) as soon as possible.
The joint statement said the two countries stand ready to strengthen communication and cooperation in nuclear safety and security and in combating nuclear terrorism.
China attaches importance to the U.S. initiative to hold a nuclear security summit in April 2010 and will actively participate in the preparations for the summit, according to the joint statement.
The two sides reaffirmed their strong support for a comprehensive and long-term solution to the Iranian nuclear issue through negotiations.
"The two sides agreed that Iran has the right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and it should fulfill its due international obligations under that treaty," said the statement.
The two sides welcomed the talks in Geneva on October 1 between the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) and Iran as "a promising start" towards addressing international concerns about Iran's nuclear program, and expressed their readiness to continue that engagement as soon as possible.
They emphasized in the joint statement that all efforts should be made to take confidence building steps and to call on Iran to respond positively to the proposal of the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
(Xinhua News Agency November 17, 2009)