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Despite Global Appeals, China Plans a Nuclear Test, State Department Says

September 25, 1993|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — China, ignoring international appeals, is going ahead with preparations for an underground nuclear test, the State Department said Friday.

"We haven't heard anything or seen anything that would indicate that they are not continuing to make preparations for a test," State Department spokesman Mike McCurry said.

The Clinton Administration and other governments have told China that international progress toward disarmament will be set back if the test is not canceled.

But China has responded that its nuclear testing program is consistent with the need to make sure its warheads are safe and reliable, said a U.S. official familiar with the contacts. He said China has not told the United States specifically whether it plans to proceed with the test, but intelligence information indicated that Beijing was proceeding with preparations.

The United States will make another effort to dissuade China when Secretary of State Warren Christopher meets Thursday with Chinese Foreign Minister Qian Qichen.

Meetings were held Friday at the White House and State Department to devise a strategy for dealing with the Chinese testing program.

A week ago, President Clinton urged China to cancel the test.

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