China conducted a nuclear test today, its second in three months, the official Xinhua News Agency said.
The announcement came in a two-sentence report that did not include any details on the size of the blast or location.
Despite worldwide criticism, China’s repeated nuclear bomb tests reflects the government’s determination to build a credible deterrent against what it perceives as threats from the West.
Today’s test was China’s fourth in 14 months. China is expected to conduct three more tests before the end of 1996, when negotiators hope a worldwide comprehensive test ban treaty will take effect.
Experts believe China is trying to create lighter, more powerful warheads.
Today’s test was conducted two days after Greenpeace activists held up a banner in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square calling for an end to testing. China detained the activists, questioned them for 12 hours and expelled them Wednesday.