Pretty much every description of the NPT presented by Western news sources exaggerates the requirements of non-weapons states and understates the requirements the treaty imposes on the weapons states. Xinhua, which is a Chinese news service, provides a welcome departure from the Western norm in its backgrounder of the NPT.
In the 1960s, the United States and the Soviet Union stepped up their nuclear testing in a bid to improve their nuclear arsenals. Seeking to maintain their respective nuclear advantages, the two superpowers began to push for negotiations on a treaty that would stem the proliferation of nuclear weapons.That is a brief but good explanation of what the NPT does. One wishes Xinhua would write a longer treatment since it is so refreshing in its choice not to warp the NPT to fit what is in effect a pro-Israel agenda.
In June 1968, the United Nations passed the NPT, which was opened for signatures in Washington, Moscow and London the next month. 59 countries signed up to it.
With 11 articles, the treaty stipulates that each nuclear-weapon state (NWS) refrain from transferring nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices to any recipient, and not to assist any non-nuclear weapon state in producing or acquiring such weapons or devices.
The treaty also says that a Non-NWS should not produce or acquire nuclear weapons.