The United States has tacitly acknowledged India as a nuclear weapons state while holding a tougher stance toward other countries such as Pakistan— Chinese academician Jin Canrong on US double standards
The just-concluded Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) failed to achieve President Barack Obama's ambitious goal of "peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons”, Chinese official media said on Saturday.
The NSS is unable to serve Obama's nuke-free vision not because it is a bad idea itself, but because the United States is losing its global leadership in non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament due to a series of domestic and external challenges, state-run Xinhua news agency quoted experts as saying.
While efforts and progress have been made, the NSS as a bid initiated by Obama in 2010 failed to achieve his ambitious goal of "peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons," it said in a commentary.
First of all, it is really hard for the Obama administration to achieve a consensus on the reduction of the use of nuclear materials or a large-scale nuclear disarmament plan with the arms industry or the Democratic and the Republican parties, Diao Daming, an expert on American politics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences said.
"The war hawks worry that a unilateral cut in the US nuclear weapons would undermine the country's capability to respond to emergencies and unexpected threats. This shows distrust in other nuclear powers as well as a Cold War mentality," said Diao.
The Republicans and some Democrats also disapprove of the way Obama handled the Iran nuclear issue, though the recently-brokered deal has won broad support in the international community, he added.
Wu Xinbo, vice dean of the School of International Relations and Public Affairs at the Shanghai-based Fudan University, echoed Diao's opinion, saying that many hindrances at home have made the "nuke-free world" look like "a utopian vision for Obama himself."
"For the NSS or any other similar initiative it is hard to generate a concrete outcome because the US military simply won't accept any large-scale reduction in nuclear weapons," Wu said.
The exercise of double standards for nuclear security is another factor undermining Obama's nuke-free pursuit, experts pointed out.
"For example, the United States has tacitly acknowledged India as a nuclear weapons state while holding a tougher stance toward other countries such as Pakistan," said Jin Canrong, vice dean of the School of International Studies at Renmin University of China.
This may cause certain countries to doubt the meaning of nuclear non-proliferation and eventually refuse to accept it, Jin added.
Zhu Xuhui, a senior Chinese nuclear expert, pointed to the fact that Japan, the largest US ally in Asia, has stored more than 47 metric tons of weapons-usable plutonium—enough to build over 6,000 atomic bombs and vulnerable to natural disasters like earthquakes and theft by terrorists.
"This is a serious problem that can increase the risk of nuclear terrorism, and the United States should not just sit by and do nothing," Zhu said.
Russia's absence from the NSS also indicated that the global nuclear disarmament efforts are somewhat losing steam, experts said.