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China, US launch anti-terror pilot project

(Xinhua)

08:40, December 08, 2011

SHANGHAI - China and the United States kicked off a Megaports Initiative pilot project in Shanghai on Wednesday amid efforts to improve security with radiation scans of cargo carriers at the city's Yangshan Port.

The initiative, an important part of Sino-US cooperation in fighting terrorism, is aimed at preventing the illegal transport of radioactive materials by installing detection systems in ports.

The two nations signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the initiative in November 2005 and began technical talks in February 2006. The talks concluded in May 2007.

The Yangshan Port pilot project is a joint effort of China's General Administration of Customs, General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, and the US Department of Energy.

"China and the United States have done fruitful work in customs security cooperation and radiation detection technology training, laying a solid foundation for the two countries to cooperate in combating terrorism," Lu Peijun, deputy commissioner of the General Administration of Customs, said at an inauguration ceremony for the Yangshan Port project.

"Meanwhile, the Megaports Initiative has become an important channel for China to boost safety and facilitation in its global trade sector," he said.

To date, 18 sets of radiation detection equipment have been installed at the Yangshan deep-water port, and a detection control center has been built.

The start of the pilot project at Yangshan marks the 40th such port under the Megaports Initiative, and the initiative's first in China.

It reflects "the commitment of the Chinese government to interdict nuclear material and in combating nuclear terrorism", Thomas D'Agostino, head of the US National Nuclear Security Administration, said at the ceremony.

Almost 3.9 million heavy containers were exported from Yangshan in the first 10 months of this year, 17.6 percent of them bound for the United States, customs statistics show.

 
 
 
 
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