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China, U.S. start pilot project to boost cargo security in Shanghai

China and the United States have kicked off the Megaports Initiative project in China, as a part of efforts to enhance security through radiation checks for cargo carriers at Shanghai's Yangshan Port.

Yangshan is the 40th port under the Megaports Initiative, but the first in China.

The Megaports Initiative aims at curbing illegal transport of nuclear and other radioactive materials by installing detection systems in few ports.

Both sides had signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the initiative in November 2005 and conducted talks on the MOU''s 11 annexes between 2006 and 2007.

China''s General Administration of Customs, Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, and the U.S. Department of Energy would jointly implement the Yangshan Port project.

"Through the initiative, China and the United States have done lots of fruitful work in customs security cooperation and radiation detection technology training, which laid a solid foundation for the two countries to carry out cooperation in combating terrorism," Xinhua quoted General Administration of Customs Deputy Commissioner Lu Peijun,as saying.

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

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

Yangshan Port had exported almost 3.9 million containers in the first 10 months of 2011, with 17.6 percent bound for the United States.

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