China and their horrific rule of the Tibetan Buddhist Plateau
China – the extremism of communism is disgusting to all.
Nuclear Monitor Issue:
(June 11, 1993) Few aspects of China’s rule over Tibet have created as much anger as allegations of nuclear mismanagement on the Tibetan plateau. Now “Nuclear Tibet”, a new report published by the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT), reveals details about a previously-secret Chinese nuclear facility there. Says John Ackerly, the report’s author, “While the report presents a body of credible and substantiated information on aspects of the nuclear program in Tibet, it is only a beginning in understanding the human impact and the full strategic value of the plateau to China in terms of the nuclear cycle.” The following are extracts from an article by Ackerly, which was published in the spring 1993 issue of China Rights Forum.
(392.3818) WISE Amsterdam – It took only 32 months during the 1960s — a decade of chaos, failure and famine — for China to enter the nuclear age. This extraordinary achievement required enormous intellectual and material resources at a time when intellectuals were being purged and materials were scarce. It also required concentrating these people and supplies in an elite, secluded setting. The location was a closely guarded state secret and the security was absolutely top-notch. The place was the Tibetan plateau, in Haibei Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, 100 kilometers west of Xining.
The selection of the Tibetan plateau for China’s primary nuclear weapons research and development base was the first in a series of decisions that put China’s nuclear infrastructure — including test sites, nuclear processing facilities and nuclear weapons production — in regions populated by non-Chinese peoples. There is little doubt that China’s nuclear program has had an inordinate impact on the Tibetans, the Uygurs and the Mongolians. From land appropriations, to nuclear fallout, to toxic and radioactive pollution in rivers, lakes and pastures, the story about the ugly side-effects of China’s nuclear program is just beginning to emerge.
As with many of the critical environmental problems facing China and Tibet, the government has repeatedly restricted public debate even among experts, and has not shown much willingness to establish measures which would effectively monitor hazardous facilities and hold officials responsible for safety. Stringent restrictions on any types of organizations outside government or Party control make it virtually impossible for citizens to effectively mobilize to oppose the siting of dangerous installations near their communities.
Until recently, China’s nuclear program has been overwhelmingly military [see box]. Now, China is opening a new chapter with the construction of civilian nuclear power plants. Its present program is only a fraction of the size of those in the US and the former Soviet Union in terms of its nuclear arsenal, number of test explosions and the volume of nuclear waste generated. But in nuclear proliferation, lack of worker safety and irresponsible waste disposal, China’s record is as poor, or even worse, than those of the other nuclear powers. The implications of this for the Tibetans, the Uygurs and the Mongolians is frightening.
|CHINA’S NUCLEAR PROGRAM Nuclear Power: China has only one nuclear power plant on-line at Qinshan Bay in Zhejiang Province and two more under construction. All are in coastal regions.
Nuclear Testing: All of China’s nuclear tests have occurred at Lop Nor, in Xinjiang. China has now conducted approximately 40 nuclear test blasts (compared to 900 for the US, and over 700 for the former Soviet Union). China was the last country to conduct an above ground nuclear explosion (16 Oct. 1980 — the US and the Soviet Union stopped in 1962) and is currently the only country in the world still conducting nuclear tests.
Domestic Nuclear Waste: According to news reports in Hong Kong and US media, China’s nuclear waste has been haphazardly disposed of in shallow land fills and concrete “basements”. Some high-level radioactive materials have been taken to central storage facilities in Gansu Province and other sites in the northwest.
Foreign Nuclear Waste: China has discussed storing nuclear waste from Germany, Taiwan and other countries in return for significant monetary and technological transfers, according to press reports. Germany has since dropped such plans, but it appears that a shipment of high-level nuclear waste from Taiwan is expected at any moment (reports that a shipment has already been made are questionable). According to Xue Litai, co-author of China Builds the Bomb, foreign nuclear waste would most likely be dumped in Gansu Province, or in Tibetan Autonomous prefectures in Qinghai Province (Amdo).
Source: China Rights Forum (US), Spring 1993.
Tashi Dolma, a Tibetan doctor who fled to India in 1990 and now lives in the US, conducted a medical survey in the vicinity of a nuclear research facility which China called by the code name of the “Ninth Academy” and which is located on the Tibetan plateau. “We surveyed over 2,000 people in three counties, and in two of the villages — Reshui and Ganzihe — the local Tibetans and their animals were coming down with unusual symptoms and diseases — these were the two villages closest to the nuclear weapons plant,” Dr. Dolma said.
Later she worked at a hospital in Chabcha in Hainan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture where she treated Tibetan nomads who grazed their sheep near the nuclear facility. The children of these nomads were developing a cancer that caused their white blood cell count to rise uncontrollably. Seven of these children, ages 8-14, died during the five years she was at the hospital. A doctor from Pittsburgh who was doing research on high blood pressure at the hospital told Dr. Dolma that these symptoms were similar to those of children who died following the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.
The choice of the northern Tibetan plateau by the Chinese leadership for their primary nuclear weapons research and development base was undoubtedly linked to China’s assumption of direct control over Tibet. During the 1960s and 1970s, the area known as Amdo to Tibetans and Qinghai Province to the Chinese was run almost exclusively by officials from the Chinese military. Those with a role in governing the region were trusted Chinese military men who had served, or were still serving, in the First Field Army that invaded Tibet in 1950.
Some say the increased deaths in communities surrounding the uranium mines in this area are Mao Zedong’s revenge on the Tibetans who kept ambushing his army during the Long March. According to Edgar Snow’s account in Red Star Over China, this was the first time Mao met a populace that was united in its hostility to his army. The Communists’ sufferings on this part of the trek exceeded anything that had gone before. Dick Wilson in The Long March says high ranking officers in the PLA openly talked of settling accounts with the Ngaba Tibetans, and geological bad luck put the largest commercially-viable uranium deposits on the Tibetan plateau under their land.
There are apparently two separate sites at which uranium is mined. One is a mine near Tewe, in Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, and the other is in Ngaba Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture where Tibetans have been falling ill and dying. In both cases, villagers have pointed to the source of the pollution as stream water below the uranium mine (see also WISE NC 390.3799).
The largest existing uranium mines in China are in the east, in Jiangxi Province. But one Chinese official told a reporter that the largest deposits are around Lhasa, Tibet’s capitol. So far, the latter have not been commercially mined, but if they were they could represent a major health threat to both Tibetans and Chinese around Lhasa and bring even greater Chinese domination over the area.
Another major issue for Tibetans is the deployment of nuclear missiles in Tibetan regions. China currently has at least 300-400 nuclear warheads, of which several dozen are on the Tibetan plateau in Amdo. The stationing of nuclear weapons there began in 1971 when a DF-4, China’s first intercontinental ballistic missile, arrived in the Quidan basin several hundred kilometers west of the Ninth Academy. Currently nuclear missiles are deployed at least three sites, including a new nuclear missile division which was reportedly established in the early 1980s on the border between Qinghai and Sichuan provinces.
In his Five Point Peace Plan, the Dalai Lama appealed to China, and to the world, to make Tibet a nuclear free zone. In a public response to the Dalai Lama’s concerns over dumping from a nuclear weapons facility (the Ninth Academy), the Chinese government called the allegations “pure fabrications.” Beijing went on to say that “Tibet”, meaning the Tibetan Autonomous Region, was nuclear free. But the Dalai Lama was including the traditional northeastern province of Amdo, where he was born, when he said “Tibet”.
In May, there was unrest in Lhasa as Tibetans protested the measures Chinese authorities took to prevent them from talking with members of a European Community commission visiting Tibet. It is clear that the EC is not very fond of talking about the human rights situation and the suppression by the Chinese. There are a lot of economic interests with China at stake. According to a Dutch participant of the trip (the Dutch ambassador in Beijing, Van Houten), the human rights situation is better than before (which tells more about the past than the present), and stories of Tibetans picked up by the Chinese authorities for writing a letter describing the situation are “exaggerated and doubtful”….
- “A Poisonous Atmosphere: Nuclear Installations on the Tibetan Plateau”, by John Ackerly, China Rights Forum, Spring 1993, pp.4-8.
- Trouw (NL), 29 May 1993
Contact: Copies of “Nuclear Tibet” are available for US$7.50 (plus $1.50 postage in US, $3.50 international) from the International Campaign for Tibet, 1518 K Street NW, Suite 410, Washington DC 20005, US. For more information contact Tashi Delek or Ned Gardinar, tel: +1 (202) 628-4123; fax: (202) 347-6825.
TIBET holds a unique position among the countries of the world. Not only does its territory cover the highest plateau on the planet, but also Tibet, alone among all nations, chose to abandon the path of aggression and military technology to pursue instead the creation of a society devoted to spiritual development and peace.Following the philosophy of the Buddha, Tibetans created spiritual universities where thousands of people were trained.
The most basic principle of Buddhism is ahimsa (nonviolence); one should help others whenever possible and avoid causing any harm. So traditionally, the Tibetan Government kept only a small army. The well-armed and the massive Chinese army invaded Tibet in 1949.
Nuclear weapons, which can destroy all life forms and turn our beautiful green planet into a barren dust-bowl, are the antithesis of Buddhist philosophy. They can kill indiscriminately and continue killing over thousands of years. His Holiness the Dalai Lama poignantly asks, “We know that in the event of a nuclear war there will be no victors because there will be no survivors. Is it not frightening to contemplate such inhuman and heartless destruction? And is it not logical that we should remove the cause of our own destruction when we know it and when we have both the time and means to do so?”
It is especially disturbing for Tibetans to report that their motherland, once dedicated to the peaceful development of the human mind, has become the storehouse of Chinese nuclear weapons and a place for dumping radioactive waste. On top of this China, for financial gain, has reportedly been encouraging foreign countries to ship their toxic waste to Tibet.
This chapter brings to light some of the information available regarding the nuclearisation and militarisation of the altar of the earth — Tibet — and to explain why this is especially critical for the countries “downstream”. In fact, we are all “downstream” from Tibet.
Nuclear weapons are explosive devices developed by harnessing the potential of atomic nuclei. Nuclear weapons get their destructive power from the transformation of matter in the nucleus of an atom into energy. They include missiles, bombs, artillery, shells, mines and torpedoes. The weakest nuclear weapons are far more destructive than the most powerful conventional weapons. The atom bombs dropped during World War II in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were nuclear weapons.
This Chapter Aims To:
• Document the development of nuclear weapons on the Tibetan Plateau
• Bring to light China’s destructive military activities in Tibet and their impact on the environment
• Create global consciousness about the effects of the nuclearisation and militarisation of the Tibetan Plateau
• Awaken the spirit of Tibetan people and their supporters to restore and conserve the fragile ecology of Tibet
• Seek international participation in the restoration and conservation of the Tibetan Plateau.
In 1949 People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers entered Eastern Tibet. In the spring of 1950, China’s “18th Army” invaded Tibet through Dartsedo (Ch. Kanding) in the east, and through Amdo in the northeast. The “14th Division” entered through Dechen in southeast Tibet. After occupying Kham and Amdo, the advance party of the “18th Army” reached Lhasa on 9 September 1951, followed by the unit’s main force on 26 October 1951. This was only the beginning of the vast Chinese military build up in Tibet, which continues to this day (DIIR 1996c).
The first known nuclear weapon was brought onto the Tibetan Plateau in 1971 and installed in the Tsaidam (Ch. Qaidam) Basin in northern Amdo (Ch. Qinghai). China is currently believed to have 17 secret radar stations, 14 military airfields, eight missile bases, at least eight ICBMs, 70 mediumrange missiles and 20 intermediate range missiles in the whole of Tibet (DIIR 1998; DIIR 1996c).
The Ninth Academy
The Northwest Nuclear Weapons Research and Design Academy, known as the “Ninth Academy” or “Factory 211,” was built by the Ninth Bureau of the Chinese Nuclear Production Establishment in the early 1960s to produce China’s early nuclear bomb designs. It is China’s top secret nuclear city located in Tsojang (Ch. Haibei) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Amdo, 100 km west of Siling (Ch. Xining).
The construction of the Ninth Academy was approved by the late Chinese leader, Deng Xiaoping, who was then the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party. The Ninth Academy is situated at 36.57 N, 101.55 E, with an elevation of 10,000 ft (3,033 m) above sea level, 10 miles (16.1 km) east of Lake Kokonor, and lies in a watershed which drains into the Tsang Chu River (Ch. Xichuan-he). This becomes the Machu (Yellow River). In the late 1970s the Ninth Academy further established a chemical industry institute to conduct experiments on reprocessing highly enriched uranium fuels. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the Ninth Academy operated under emergency conditions to build China’s nuclear weapons capability. An unknown quantity of radioactive waste in the form of liquid slurry as well as solid and gaseous waste was dumped by the Academy. The disposal of waste was haphazard and their record-keeping dismal. Initially radioactive waste was dumped in shallow and unlined landfills (Ackerly 1993a; ICT 1993).
According to the official China news agency, Xinhua, in a report dated 20 July 1995, the Ninth Academy was decommissioned in 1987 and the base was moved to sites in
Sichuan Province in Eastern Tibet. However, Tibetans living near the Ninth Academy informed the Tibetan Governmentin- Exile in 1996 that Chinese security personnel still secretly guard the Ninth Academy around the clock.
A direct railway line connects the Academy with Lake Kokonor, the largest lake on the Tibetan Plateau. Nuclear waste experts believe that radioactive waste was also dumped into the lake. A reliable report from a Chinese man whose father was a nuclear scientist in Lanzhou, Gansu, states that in 1974 there was an accident leading to nuclear pollution of the lake (ICT 1993). The Ninth Academy is located on marshy land allowing polluted water and radioactive particles to easily seep into the groundwater, which flows into Lake Kokonor. Massive road networks access military installations Lake Kokonor is sacred to Tibetans. Throughout history they have protected the natural beauty and sanctity of this lake through sustained spiritual practices and ecological respect. The principle lama of Rebgong Monastery in Amdo, Je Kalden Gyatso, has explained: “Today the island at the centre of Lake Kokonor is called the abode of Maha Dewa (Lord Shiva). It has historical connections with Tibet’s great king Songtsen Gampo and also Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava). It is the abode of klu (beings who inhabit water bodies) and jangchub sempa (bodhisattvas). It is a
pilgrimage site for many kings and saints” (Palbar 1994).
Anti-Frigate Missile Centre at Drotsang
A new missile production centre is located at Drotsang (Ch. Ledu; 36.05N, 102.5E), 63 km east of Siling. The secret code number of this centre is 430. It was originally set up in 1986 and was massively expanded in 1995. It is a surrogate of the Ninth Academy and has been producing anti-frigate missiles which are being tested in Lake Kokonor (Chutter 1998).
Land-Based Nuclear Warheads
When Major-General Zhang Shaosong, the Political Commissar of the PLA in Tibet, was asked point-blank whether there were nuclear weapons in Tibet by the BBC’s Mark Braine in 1988, he replied, “Whether there are nuclear weapons in Tibet or not, it is up to the authorities to decide.” And he smiled (Kewley 1990).
Tsaidam’s Nuclear Missile Launch Sites
The Ninth Academy was ready to produce nuclear weapons by 1971. The first batch of nuclear weapons manufactured at the Ninth Academy was reportedly brought to Tsaidam Basin and stationed at Small Tsaidam (Ch. Xiao Qaidam) and Large Tsaidam (Ch. Da Qaidam) in the extremenorthwest of Amdo province (Ch. Qinghai). Tsaidam Basin is known to be one of most advantageous deployment sites for China because of its high altitude and isolation. China established the nuclear missile deployment and launch site for DF-4 missiles in the Tsaidam Basin in the early 1970s.
The Large Tsaidam site located in northern Tibet (37.50N and 95.18E) has two missiles stored horizontally in tunnels near the launch pad. Fuel and oxidizers are stored in separate tunnels with lines to the launch pad (Fieldhouse 1991). According to various reports, a launch site for Dong Feng Four (DF-4) missiles, which are equivalent to Russia’s CSS- 2, was built in Tsaidam. These missiles, located at Large Tsaidam and Small Tsaidam (37.26N, 95.08E), are reported to have a range of over 4,000 km placing the whole Indian sub-continent within striking distance. The DF-4 is China’s first intercontinental ballistic missile. During the 1970s its range was extended from 4,000 km to 7,000 km allowing the modified version now deployed on the Tibetan Plateau to target Moscow and the rest of the former Soviet Union (Fieldhouse 1991).
The Small Tsaidam site in Northern Tibet is presumably organised in a similar way to the Large Tsaidam deployment and launch site. The missiles were moved to these sites on the Tibetan Plateau in 1971 (Lewis & Xue 1988). According to diplomatic sources informing the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) in Washington DC, nuclear missiles are stationed in Small Tsaidam and are only moved to Large Tsaidam in times of emergency.
Terlingkha Nuclear Missile Launch Site
Another nuclear missile launch site is located at Terlingkha (Ch. Delingha; 36.6N, 97.12E), 217 km southeast of Tsaidam. It houses DF-4 and Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM). Terlingkha is the missile regiment headquarters for Amdo which consists of four associated launch sites. The organisation of the sites are similar to Large Tsaidam (Chutter 1998; ICT 1993).
New Long Range Missile Division
A new nuclear missile division has also been established on the Tibetan Plateau on the border between Qinghai and Sichuan provinces, in the Tibetan province of Amdo. Four CSS-4 missiles are deployed here, which have a range of 8,000 miles (12,874 km), capable of striking the UnitedStates, Europe and anywhere in Asia. Amdo Province is home to four Chinese nuclear missile launch sites, two at Tsaidam, one at Terlingkha and one at the border between Amdo and Sichuan Province (Chutter 1998).
Underground Base at Nagchuka
In the 1970s numerous reports surfaced regarding the stockpiling of nuclear weapons. These reports also confirmed that in 1970 missile base construction work had started about 10 miles (16.1 km) north of Nagchuka (Ch. Nagqu), in the ‘Tibet Autonomous Region’ and that there was a considerable build up of Chinese military personnel in the area. On 14 October 1987, an article in the Sydney-based national newspaper The Australian reported the presence of nuclear missiles at Nagchuka. Subsequently, the Australian Nuclear Disarmament Party, in a press release dated 28 October 1987, expressed its grave concern over the intermediate-range ballistic (IRBM) and medium-range missiles (MRBM) stationed in Nagchuka. Tashi Chutter’s book, Confidential Study on Deployment of Chinese Occupational Force[s] in Tibet, published in 1998 confirms that there are nuclear missiles permanently stationed at Nagchuka. The missiles are housed in underground complexes beneath Risur mountain, 25 km southeast of Nagchuka. The Risur site has reportedly been developed by the Chinese government for two major reasons; to provide an alternative to the Lop Nor nuclear test site in Eastern Turkestan (Ch. Xinjiang) and to store as well as test China’s upgraded air defence missiles and nuclear weapons. Nagchuka is reported to have the largest airforce unit stationed at any secluded site.
Rocky Funnels House Missile Base
Like the Risur site, another missile base is located at Tagho Mountain (Tib. Horse-Head Mountain) in the remote valley (32.15N, 89.42E) of Pelok, which lies to the east of Nyima Dzong under Nagchuka administrative division of ‘TAR’. Missiles possibly of a nuclear nature are reportedly stored in the underground rocky tunnels of Tagho Mountain. The entire region is described as a desolate desert where only military vehicles are allowed to enter (Chutter 1998).
Underground Missile Storage Near Lhasa
Dhoti Phu is located 3.5 km to the northwest of Drapchi Prison and one kilometre to the west of Sera Monastery. It came into existence between the late 1960s and 1970s. It was observed that occasionally 20 to 25 trucks loaded with elongated objects wrapped in canvas cloth were seen enteringthe storage site. The movement of these vehicles took place only at night. The sophisticated underground storage complex of Dhoti Phu reportedly contains missiles known as di dui kong (ground-to-air) and di dui di (surface-to-surface). In Lhasa during Chinese Army Day (1 August), a number of missiles of these types were displayed to the public on missile guiding vehicles (Chutter 1998).
Missiles Complex in Kongpo
A large underground missile storage facility is located near Payi Town in Nyingtri (Ch. Nyingchi) region of Kongpo, ‘TAR’ under the secret code number 809 (Ch: Pa Ling Jue). It is controlled by the Chengdu Military Logistic Division. Supplies are brought in by the 17th, 18th and 20th Transport Regiments from Chengdu and some supplies are also brought in from Lhasa. A few low ceilinged barracks were noticed near the foothill of a mountain in Payi where there is an entrance leading to an underground storage complex. Long convoys of military trucks belonging to the transport regiments have been observed entering the storage facility. When fresh supplies arrive at the facility, storage complex drivers replace the regular drivers inside the complex.
It is reported that ground-to-air and surface-to-surface missiles are stored at this site. During mock military exercises a large number of such missiles are taken out of this complex. At one time about 80 missiles were observed. They were mounted on 20 trucks, each truck carrying four missiles. Each missile measured about one and a half times the length of the trucks and some had fins. During these exercises, missiles were launched vertically and horizontally to hit prearranged targets (Chutter 1998).
Airbases with Nuclear Weapons
There are three types of aircraft in China currently available for nuclear bombing missions: the Hong-6 bomber, the Hong- 5 bomber, and the Qian-5 attack jet. The Hong-6 has a combat radius of over 3,000 km and can reach targets in the former Soviet Union and India. The Hong-5 has a combat radius of 1,200 km (Fieldhouse 1991).
During the 1960s and 1970s the three main military airbases in Tibet were in Lhasa, Chabcha and Golmud. During the 1960s, Chabcha and Golmud airfields were used as refuelling stations for Chinese aircraft on their way to Tibet and the Indian border. The Gongkar airfield, located 97 km southwest of Lhasa, has been the main military airfield and the main supply centre for the Chinese forces in the border area.
At Shigatse military airport, four or five IL-28 bombers were deployed with some jetfighter aircraft. Military transport aircraft such as the AN-32 and the Russian made IL-18 were noticed in frequent operations at the airport. Every autumn, these bombers carried out bombing exercises at a place known as Logma Thang, 50 km west of the airport. During the rest of the year the aircraft practice flight manoeuvring exercises (Chutter 1998).
A classified Pentagon report quoted by The Washington Times states that missile launch complexes in Jianshui, near the China-Vietnam border and at Datong in Amdo are equipped with CSS-2 and CSS-5 launchers that can hit targets which cover “most of India”. Other targets include Russia, Japan and Taiwan, as specified in a classified study prepared by the National Air Intelligence Centre (NAIC). According to the NAIC report, China now has about 40 CSS-2 re-fire capable launchers at six field garrison and launch complexes. The launchers at Datong missile garrison can target Russia as well as India. The CSS-2 training sites have also been observed by US spy satellites in nearby Haiyan.
Russia is selling 100 advanced artillery systems with precision guided shells to China in secret arms deals, including modern aircraft, destroyers and other high-tech arms. China purchased some 50 SU-27 flanker warplanes from Russia and has plans to purchase 250 more of the jets by 2005. The SU-27s will be fitted with AA-11 air-to-air missiles, a very effective radar guided rocket with electronic countermeasure pods (The Tribune 5 July 1997). It is evident that China is modernising its nuclear weapons and developing multiple warhead missiles. The Chinese now have intercontinental nuclear capability. Intercontinental ballistic missiles can reach most of the USA, according to General Habiger, Commander of the US Strategic Command.
General Habiger added that China’s new intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) include the DF-31, a road-mobile missile with a range of more than 4,500 miles (7,242 km), and a second new ICBM with a range of more than 7,000 miles (11,265 km) (The Tribune 3 April 1998). China continues to violate the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty of 1963. It exploded an underground nuclear device at Lop Nor test site in Eastern Turkestan (Xinjiang), directly north of Tibet, on 17 August 1995, and thereafter it exploded two nuclear bombs on 8 June 1996, and 29 July 1996.
China has so far exploded 45 nuclear bombs since its detonation of an atomic bomb in 1964 at Lop Nor. China’s 45th nuclear explosion of 29 July 1996 came just a few hours before delegates sat down to negotiate the final stage of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) at the United Nations Conference on Disarmament in Geneva. China has land, sea and air-based missiles, nuclear missiles on submarines, and it continues to develop various smaller nuclear warheads. These nuclear warheads are loaded onto a multiple warhead missile, thereby greatly enhancing its ballistic capability. China’s total nuclear power is estimated to be 16,000 times greater than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima (20,000 kilotons of TNT) which killed 140,000 people in Japan. Yet China claims it needs more tests to ensure the safety of its nuclear devices (DIIR 1996a).
CNN World News on 7 April 1998 announced that France and the United Kingdom ratified the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) to prevent international nuclear proliferation for a nuclear-free world. China is one of the nuclear states in the world, along with the US and Russia, who are yet to ratify the CTBT. China signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1992.
However, no matter what is signed or declared on the international stage, China evidently does not comply or yield ground. No country dares to upset the Asian giant for fear of losing its lucrative trade. Tibet and its people, because of their “crime” of not being represented at the United Nations, continue to suffer humiliation as many countries of the world indulge in double-talk about international norms of good conduct. These nations continue to ignore nuclear proliferation on the Roof of the World.