It is good China and US are cooperating over nuclear security

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 April, 2016, 4:31pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 12 April, 2016, 4:31pm

Your editorial, “Xi and Obama find common ground” (April 5) pointed out that in Paris last December, both Beijing and Washington showed the world they shared common ground on climate change.

At the recent nuclear security summit in Washington, President Xi Jinping (習近平) and President Barack Obama identified another area to work together through cooperation on global nuclear security.

Hong Kong people, a quarter of a century ago, were more concerned about nuclear power contamination.

A local Christian pastor reportedly galvanised one million people to take to the streets voicing their fears over nuclear power contamination from the nearby Daya Bay nuclear power plant.

As a member of an Exco-Legco group at the time, I visited France’s newest nuclear plant. Outside the 20km restricted perimeter around the plant, there were many villages that were invited to send groups to the plant to learn about operations and the safety measures in place to protect people from nuclear contamination.

The Daya Bay plant was built as a joint China-French venture, with Hong Kong financial participation and top French technical cooperation. Today it continues to supply Hong Kong with part of our electricity power needs.

Currently, China has 30 nuclear power plants in operation with at least 22 more plants under construction.

Also, under the next five-year national plan, it hopes to build six to eight nuclear plants annually so as to significantly reduce dependence on heavily-polluting coal-fired power stations.

It is timely that Mr Xi and Mr Obama agreed at the summit to initiate joint efforts to combat nuclear terrorism and to establish an annual bilateral dialogue.

Speaking at the summit, Mr Xi said nuclear terrorism was the common enemy of all mankind, and in this age of connectivity, no country can deal with such problems alone.

It now appears that global climate change and global nuclear security could be agenda items of equal importance at future meetings of the top leaders of both China and the United States.

I think climate change and nuclear security are subjects very relevant to the living conditions of our seven million people, while fighting for Hong Kong independence by any political group would be a lost cause leading to nowhere.

It would be more relevant politically to strive for more and better public housing, educational, health-care and welfare services for the underprivileged in our society.

Hilton Cheong-Leen, To Kwa Wan