U.S. suspects China may be conducting nuclear tests

17 Avril, 2020, 04:13 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
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China may have conducted secret nuclear tests that potentially violated an global agreement, according to a U.S. State Department report.

The State Department is concerned China may be conducting small nuclear tests in secret, possibly violating an worldwide agreement banning such tests, Fox News confirmed Wednesday.

The 1996 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) allows activities created to ensure the safety of nuclear weapons.

"China's conceivable arrangement to work its Lop Nur test site all year, its utilization of hazardous regulation chambers, broad uncovering exercises at Lop Nur and an absence of straightforwardness on its atomic testing exercises ... raise concerns concerning its adherence to the zero yield standard", said the archive, first announced by the Wall Street Journal.

"Another factor feeding US suspicions is the interruption in past years of data transmissions from monitoring stations on Chinese territory that are created to detect radioactive emissions and seismic tremors", the WSJ reported.

Jeffrey Lewis, a nuclear weapons expert at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, said that the available evidence was possibly consistent with a low-yield tests or with "sub-critical tests", which do not involve nuclear fission, and which are allowed by the CTBT.

Such underground nuclear tests would be prohibited under the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty of 1996, which was never formally ratified, but is purportedly observed by most major powers, including the United States and China.

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A senior US official said the concerns about China's testing activities buttress President Donald Trump's case for getting China to join the United States and Russian Federation in talks on an arms control accord to replace the 2010 New START treaty between Washington and Moscow that expires in February 2021.

This would excuse the interruptions without denying they occurred or offering any concrete theories as to why.

'The pace and manner by which the Chinese government is modernizing its stockpile is worrying, destabilizing, and illustrates why China should be brought into the global arms control framework, ' said the senior US official on condition of anonymity.

"The U.S. neglects all the facts and makes wanton accusations against China". China has refused these requests by insisting its nuclear program is tiny and purely defensive in nature.

Spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters that China has been actively fulfilling commitments to treaties on arms control. "The US criticism of China is entirely groundless, without foundation, and not worth refuting", the spokesman added.

While the agreement has been signed by both countries, neither has ratified it.

"Some compliance concerns are raised and some findings of violations are made", it read. The anti-communist newspaper claimed to have obtained a separate copy of the report from the Wall Street Journal, and the latter newspaper did not publish these alleged snippets. There is increasing confidence that COVID-19 likely originated in a Wuhan laboratory not as a bioweapon, but as part of China's effort to demonstrate that its efforts to identify and combat viruses were equal to or greater than the capabilities of the United States, multiple sources who have been briefed on government actions and seen relevant materials revealed to Fox News.

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