IS THE DRAGON TESTING NUCLEAR WEAPONS AGAIN?
|US LOADING OF A TEST TUNNEL IN NAVADA CIRCA 1950s|
|THE US "MIKE TEST" 1952|
The suspicion began when U.S. signals intelligence noticed that a frequently monitored Chinese transceiver appeared to be going periodically silent, The stations going periodically silent are in Chinese territory and designed to detect radioactive emissions and seismic tremors. Adding to the concerns there is high tempo of activity at China’s Lop Nur test site, extensive excavations at the site,appear to be underway, and apparent possible use of special chambers to contain explosions..Could this indicate a resumption of testing, or test preparation for low yield nuclear weapons testing at the Lop Nur site? The activity monitored suggest low yield nuclear weapons testing..in violation of agreements reached over the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, of 1996 . However, as alarming as the possibilities are the 1996 accord allows a range of activities to assure the safety and reliability of nuclear weapons. Such permissible activities. include experiments involving fissile material, as long as the experiments don’t produce a nuclear-explosion.. So why is the Dragon refurbishing explosive containment chambers? In all fairness it should be noted that neither China nor the United States have ratified the 1996 accords, but both have agreed to abide by the provisions of the accords.
|GRABLE EVENT - Part of U.S. Operation Upshot-Knothole, was a 15-kiloton test fired from a 280-mm cannon on May 25, 1953|
This new development could also be a ruse to affect upcoming global nuclear weapons discussions requested by the Trump Administration.“The single most effective way to resolve concerns about very low-yield nuclear explosions according to a number of arms control experts and enforce compliance with the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty is for the U.S and China to ratify the treaty . If China actually complied, the International community would have the option of demanding intrusive, short-notice on-site inspections. of such facilities.. The Dragon will probably double the size of its nuclear stockpile over the next decade according to some experts within the U.S.Defense Intelligence Agency.
China may, and we put emphasis on "may":, be secretly conducting nuclear weapons tests . If so these tests would be tests with very low explosive power despite Beijing’s assertions that it is strictly adhering to an international accord banning all nuclear tests,. These would be field grade weapons .similar to the nuclear cannons we once had deployed in Korea. Unlike their intercontinental nuclear missile stock pile such weapons are more aimed at neighbors resisting Chinese territorial ambitions.than a direct threat to the United States unless we decide to intervene on some Dragon aggression with one of our regional allies. China’s arsenal is estimated to be about 300 nuclear warheads. , By contrast the U.S. has a stockpile of about 3,800 nuclear warheads compatible with short range and long range delivery systems. that could be carried on long-range and short-range delivery systems, However, only an estimated 1,700 are deployed.
The Trump, Administration is undertaking a comprehensive review of U.S. China relations. These latest moves by the Dragon are likely to add to existing strains over China’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, its militarization of the South China Sea and trade disputes..