The Chinese Communist Party is rejecting an accusation from the US that it conducted a low-level nuclear test at a weapons test site, saying the country had not violated its commitment to international arms control treaties.
“The US neglects all the facts and makes wanton accusations against China. This is irresponsible and ill-intentioned,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said while speaking to reporters Thursday.
Zhao went on to call the claim “a complete distortion of the facts.”
An arms control report from the State Department, first obtained by the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, alleged that the Chinese Communist Party may be flouting international law by implementing these tests, which they say occurred within the northwest region of the country using low explosive power.
The concerns stemmed from activity which was discovered at China’s Lop Nur testing site. One giveaway, according to the report, included extensive excavations and the use of special chambers to contain explosions.
Also fueling US suspicions is the interruption in recent years of data transmissions from monitoring stations in China designed to detect radioactive emissions and seismic tremors.
The conflict comes as President Trump hopes to open nuclear arms talks with Beijing as part of a larger effort to negotiate a new deal that includes Russia.
The agreement the US alleges China is not following is the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
The treaty allows testing and other activities to ensure the safety and reliability of nuclear weapons, including some experiments, as long as they don’t produce a nuclear explosive reaction.
The treaty isn’t legally enforced because too few countries have ratified it, though both the US and China say they are abiding by the terms of the accord.
While the agreement has been signed by both countries, neither has ratified it.
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