International Atomic Energy Agency
(Unofficial electronic edition)
16 September 1996
29 July 1996
"New Zealand condemns this latest Chinese test" the Prime Minister, Rt Hon Jim Bolger said today. He was reacting to reports of an official Chinese announcement of a Chinese test at its site in Lop Nor.
"This test is particularly disappointing" the Prime Minister said. He observed that the Conference on Disarmament resumes work, this evening, on the draft text of a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. "To test on the eve of these key negotiations resuming could not be more unfortunate" the Prime Minister observed.
"Although we welcome China's earlier undertaking that it will henceforth observe a moratorium on testing, China must go further" the Prime Minister continued. "China should respect the will of the international community and cease testing for all time". It can do so by joining with other countries to promptly conclude the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty" said the Prime Minister.
"New Zealand will lodge firm protests with the Chinese Government" the Prime Minister announced. Rt Hon Don McKinnon will call in the Chinese Ambassador to deliver New Zealand's protest and New Zealand's Ambassador in Beijing will tonight be instructed to register New Zealand's concerns at a senior level in Beijing.
Only last week Foreign Ministers in the Asean Regional Forum, including New Zealand's Don McKinnon, looked forward to an Asia-Pacific free of nuclear testing. "In condemning China's latest test, we hope it will also be the last such explosion in any region for all time" the Prime Minister concluded.