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China's nuclear policy sets good example for others: Queen Noor of Jordan
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by Yang Qingchuan, Ge Xiangwen

China's longstanding policy of "no first use of nuclear weapons" and its support for complete nuclear disarmament have set a good example for other nations, said a prominent advocate for international nuclear disarmament.

"I think China's policies are very progressive, very enlightened and set a good example for other nations," said Queen Noor Al-Hussein of Jordan during an exclusive interview with Xinhua ahead of the upcoming UN Security Council meeting on nuclear nonproliferation and nuclear disarmament.

Queen Noor, the U.S.-born widow of late King Hussein bin Talal of Jordan, is a leading founder of the Global Zero, an international initiative launched in December 2008 to promote total elimination of nuclear weapons in the world.

She said the Global Zero appreciated the fact that China was one of the first batch of countries in the world calling for complete nuclear disarmament and she agreed with China on many issues related to nuclear disarmament.

She said she hoped China would work with the United States and Russia to help bring on board other countries in support of the total elimination of nuclear weapons. She noted that the United States and Russia had to take lead as they have some 98 percent of the world's nuclear weapons in their arsenals.

"Russia and the United States appear now to have taken the lead in several meetings which the presidents of the two countries had attended. In this coming UN security council special meeting, we hope to see that leadership inspires other nuclear nations to come on board," said Queen Noor, adding that she hoped U.S. President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Dmitri Medvedev would sign a new nuclear disarmament deal within this year.

As to the Sept. 24 UN Security Council meeting on nuclear nonproliferation and nuclear disarmament, Queen Noor said she believed that "this meeting will help spur more awareness, more confidence in the seriousness of Russia and the United States, and more actions in terms of commitments made by other nuclear powers."

She noted that to achieve a world without nuclear weapons, "there can be no double standard or you'll never build trust, confidence required by any country to take steps in nuclear disarmament".

When asked about whether western countries adopted a double standard on nuclear issues in Mideast, her answer was "yes".

"You can not isolate any country in any regional arms race. It's absolutely critical to call on all countries to abide by the same principles," she said.

According to Queen Noor, the Global Zero, launched last December by over 100 government and military leaders from different countries, has laid out a four-phase plan to eliminate all nuclear weapons in the world by 2030.

Although Obama said he probably would not see the day of the total elimination of nuclear weapons in his lifetime, the queen said she believed the goal of the Global Zero was achievable.

"When a momentum begins, there will be a combination of efforts of governments, non-governmental organizations, activists and international institutions. It is amazing what you can accomplish once the momentum begins," Queen Noor said.

"In the 20 years since the Cold War, about 40,000 nuclear weapons have been eliminated. And we now have 23,000 nuclear weapons that remain. Certainly in the coming period we can eliminate those 23,000 nuclear weapons if there is a political will."

Although Queen Noor hasn't visited China for many years, she said she knew China had "changed enormously" and hoped to visit China in the coming year.

"China is leaping ahead in terms of technologies and policies which I wish the United States would have adopted today in terms of trying to curb the negative impact on the environment from industrial and technological progress," she said.

(Xinhua News Agency September 20, 2009)

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