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China’s nuclear monitors help track activities in region, including N.Korea

(Global Times)    08:27, February 01, 2018

China's construction of nuclear monitoring stations would help the world better monitor nuclear activities in the region, including North Korea, which analysts said shows China's commitment to global nonproliferation.

The certification ceremony of four stations, located in Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong Province, Beijing, Lanzhou in Northwest China's Gansu Province and Hailar in North China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, which were approved by the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) in 2017, was held on Tuesday in Guangzhou, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

"The global monitoring system under the CTBT mainly uses four methods to detect possible nuclear activities - earthquake, radionuclide, underwater sound and infrasound," Li Bin, a researcher at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the International Studies Institute at Tsinghua University, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

Of the four newly-approved stations in China, two are radionuclide-technical featured and two use seismic technology, Li said.

These stations are part of the global system under the CTBT to monitor potential nuclear tests around the world. China established its first CTBT-certified station in December 2016 in Lanzhou. China plans to build a total of 11 such stations, Xinhua reported.

China's monitoring stations are responsible for detecting nuclear activities in neighboring countries, including North Korea, Li said, adding that detection is not targeted at any particular country.

North Korea has been continuously condemned by the international community for conducting nuclear tests.

The stations are distributed in the world. The locations of China's certified stations were chosen because they have built related research centers and fit the budget, Li explained.

Lassina Zerbo, executive secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the CTBT Organization, told Xinhua in December that China's construction of nuclear activity monitoring stations showed its commitment to the global cause of nonproliferation.

The development indicates China's larger influence on nonproliferation, which is consistent with an increasing global leadership role, he said.

China signed the CTBT in 1996 and was part of the initial group, which now includes 183 country members.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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