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China raising red flags, may be conducting secret nuclear tests, State Department warns

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A new State Department report says that communist China, already under scrutiny over its gross mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic, may also be conducting secret nuclear tests in violation of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban of 1996.

While the report stops short of outright accusing China of violating the unratified pact, it does cite highly unusual activities that “raise concerns,” including “a high level of activity at its Lop Nur nuclear weapons test site throughout 2019.”

According to the nonpartisan, nonprofit Nuclear Threat Initiative, Lop Nor “is China’s only nuclear weapons test site, conducts nuclear weapons training and may be a major nuclear weapons stockpile location.”

China conducted an ostensible “final nuclear test” at the site in July of 1996, two months before the unofficial adoption of CTBT. However, evidence suggests the communist nation has continued to illicitly use the site.

“In 2001 China is suspected of having conducted a series of four subcritical tests at Lop Nor, and constructed an additional adit on site (opening to a tunnel for conducting nuclear tests) sometime between 2000 and 2005,” NTI notes.

Read the State Department’s full report below:

“China’s possible preparation to operate its Lop Nur test site year-round, its use of explosive containment chambers, extensive excavation activities at Lop Nur, and lack of transparency on its nuclear testing activities … raise concerns,” the report reads.

The “lack of transparency” includes China’s frequent “blocking [of] the flow of data from its International Monitoring System (IMS) stations to the International Data Center operated by the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization.”

This crucial data is needed “to establish whether an ambiguous event has taken place and whether such an event may indeed have been a nuclear explosion,” according to the organization. In short, it’s needed to ensure member states are actually abiding by the pact.

Learn more about China’s alleged nuclear tests below via Fox News’ “Hannity“:


(Source: Fox News)

Complicating the matter is the fact that the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban remains unratified.

“The accord allows a range of activities to assure the safety and reliability of nuclear weapons, including experiments involving fissile material, as long as they don’t produce a nuclear-explosive yield,” The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

“The treaty isn’t legally in force because not enough nations have ratified it, though major powers, including the U.S. and China, say they are abiding by its terms. While the U.S. and China have signed the agreement, neither has ratified it.”

And to hear the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization tell it, neither has recently violated it as well.

“A spokeswoman for the body … said there has been virtually no interruption in the data transmissions by the Chinese since September 2019,” the Journal noted.

“Data transmissions were interrupted previously, she said, but that was the result of the negotiating process between the CTBT organization and the Chinese government on arrangements for putting the stations in operation.”

This claim contrasts sharply with the State Department’s accusation. If the accusation is valid, it would denote the second time in only a matter of months that the communist nation has placed the rest of the world at risk via its refusal to abide by norms.

But also concerning is China’s alleged engagement in activities potentially pertaining to biological warfare.

“During the reporting period, the People’s Republic of China (China) engaged in biological activities with potential dual-use applications, some of which raise concerns regarding its compliance with Article I of the BWC,” the State Department’s report reads.

BWC refers to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction, aka the Biological Weapons Convention.

The United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs describes the BWC as “the first multilateral disarmament treaty banning the development, production and stockpiling of” biological weapons.

“In addition, the United States does not have sufficient information to determine whether China eliminated its assessed biological warfare (BW) program, as required under Article II of the Convention,” the State Department’s report continues.

“Historically, the issue of compliance by China with the BWC has been of concern for many years, though the assessments have changed over time. In the 2005 Report, for instance, United States assessed that ‘China maintains some elements of an offensive BW capability in violation of its BWC obligations.'”

“In 2010, it was ‘noted that China possessed an offensive BW program prior to its accession to the BWC in 1984, and . . . was obligated to eliminate this program upon acceding to the Convention.’ The United States continues to note that the BWC CBM declarations China has submitted have neither documented that offensive program, nor documented that China has eliminated the program or any remaining biological weapons in accordance with Article II of the BWC.”

The publication of the department’s report comes amid the emergence of other reports suggesting that the coronavirus may have originated in a Chinese laboratory.

“There is increasing confidence that COVID-19 likely originated in a Wuhan laboratory, though not as a bioweapon but as part of China’s effort to demonstrate that its efforts to identify and combat viruses are equal to or greater than the capabilities of the United States,” Fox News reported late Wednesday.

Vivek Saxena

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