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China Expresses Grave Concern about U.S. Discussion of Resuming Nuclear Testing

June 9, 2020 (EIRNS)—The May 22 Washington Post report claiming that the U.S. resumption of nuclear explosive testing was discussed at a May 15 meeting of the National Security Council is still reverberating across the globe, though there’s been no confirmation of the discussion by the White House. Director of the Chinese Foreign Ministry Information Department Hua Chunying was asked about a statement on the report from the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) Organization Group of Eminent Persons during the ministry’s June 8 daily briefing. “China has stated that we are gravely concerned about this internal discussion in the U.S. administration on resuming nuclear tests,” she replied.

“We urge the U.S. side to fulfill its due responsibilities, stay committed to its pledge of suspending nuclear tests, and uphold the purposes and principles of the CTBT. We also hope that the U.S. side will heed the call from the international community and contribute to safeguarding the international nuclear disarmament and international non-proliferation regime. It should take no more steps down the wrong path of undermining global strategic stability.”

In Washington, Congressional Democrats are demanding that the Trump Administration answer questions about the May 15 NSC meeting. “It is unfathomable that the administration is considering something so short-sighted and dangerous, and that directly contradicts its own 2018 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR),” House Democrats wrote in a letter June 8 to Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette and Defense Secretary Mark Esper, reported signer Ohio Democrat Marcy Kaptur. The NPR, the lawmakers wrote, “which this administration often cites as inviolable, makes clear that ‘the United States will not resume nuclear explosive testing unless necessary to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear arsenal.’ ”

A separate letter yesterday to President Donald Trump, with copies to Esper and Brouillette, from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL), co-signed by 80 other House and Senate Democrats, similarly warned that “taking this unnecessary and provocative step would be an abdication of America’s scientific leadership and would weaken our ability to make the world a safer place to live.”

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