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16 Apr, 2020 08:23

Beijing says committed to moratorium on nuclear tests after US accusations

Beijing says committed to moratorium on nuclear tests after US accusations

China said on Thursday it is committed to a moratorium on nuclear tests. The statement from its Foreign Ministry followed a US State Department report that said China may have conducted low-level underground nuclear test explosions.

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.

Beijing may have secretly set off low-level underground nuclear test explosions despite claiming to observe an international pact banning such blasts, the US State Department said, in a report on Wednesday.

US concerns about possible breaches of a ‘zero yield’ standard for test blasts have been prompted by activities at China’s Lop Nur nuclear test site throughout 2019, Reuters said, citing the report. Zero yield refers to a nuclear test in which there is no explosive chain reaction of the type ignited by the detonation of a nuclear warhead.