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International Atomic Energy Agency
Information Circular
(Unofficial electronic edition)
INFCIRC/517
29 July 1996

GENERAL Distr.
Original: ENGLISH


Communication of 13 June 1996 Received from the Permanent Mission of Australia to the International Atomic Energy Agency

  1. On 17 June 1996, the Director General received a communication of 13 June 1996 from the Resident Representative of Australia transmitting texts of a Statement made by the Prime Minister of Australia and a Press Release issued by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia in respect of the test of a nuclear weapon conducted by China on 8 June 1996.

  2. As requested by the Resident Representative of Australia, the Statement of the Prime Minister and the Press Release of the Minister for Foreign Affairs are being circulated for the information of Member States of the Agency.


INFCIRC/517
Attachment

Nuclear Weapon Test by China

Statement by the Hon. John Howard, Prime Minister of Australia

Australia condemns the latest est of a nuclear weapon by China. Given the strength of world reaction against the French testing programme, it displays a particular insensitivity for China to have gone ahead with this test.

China alone continues to test nuclear weapons. Its action is contrary to the expectation of the international community, as underlined at last year's Review conference on the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), to see concrete progress towards the elimination of nuclear weapons. It is particularly regrettable that China continues to test when the negotiations for a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) are at a critical juncture.

I urge China to end immediately its nuclear weapons testing program and affirm its unconditional support for a CTBT. These measures would be a significant boost to international efforts to curb the spread and use of weapons of mass destruction.

Canberra
8 June 1996


INFCIRC/517
Attachment

Chinese Nuclear Test

Media Release Issued by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia, Mr Alexander Downer

I condemn the nuclear test conducted today by China.

With the conclusion of France's nuclear testing in the South Pacific, China stands alone as the only nuclear weapon state to persist, against the express will of the international community, with a nuclear weapon testing program. China's test comes at a time when negotiations to conclude a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) are entering their final stage. The international community has called for the Treaty to be concluded and opened for signature by this years' United Nations General Assembly in September. The timing of the latest test by China is therefore particularly regrettable.

Australia's opposition to all nuclear testing is long-standing and firm. Our response to today's test can leave China in no doubt about the strength of feeling on the part of the Australian government, and the Australian community, against continued nuclear testing. our message is clear: China should heed the strength and legitimacy of international feeling on this important issue and desist immediately from all further testing. China should act now to join the other nuclear weapon states in desisting from testing pending entry into force of a CTBT.

It is clear the international community wants to see a move away form the now out-dated war logic of nuclear confrontation and to wind back the threat posed by the further development and proliferation of nuclear weapons. Continued nuclear testing has no place in today's world.

Washington/Canberra
8 June 1996


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