International Atomic Energy Agency
Information Circular
(Unofficial electronic edition)
16 September 1996

Original: ENGLISH

Communication of 29 July 1996 Received from the Permanent Mission of Australia to the International Atomic Energy Agency

  1. On 30 July 1996, the Director General received a communication of 29 July 1996 from the Resident Representative of Australia transmitting the text of a press release by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia in respect of the latest test of a nuclear weapon conducted by China and its announcement of a nuclear testing moratorium.

  2. As requested by the Resident Representative of Australia, the press release of the Minister for Foreign Affairs is being circulated for the information of Member States of the Agency.


Text of Press Release of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia

China has today announced that it has conducted a nuclear test and declared that it will observe a moratorium on testing from tomorrow.

The Australian Government has consistently opposed nuclear testing by any state and this latest test is no exception. I have called in the Chinese Ambassador this afternoon and made this point to him. I also made clear in Jakarta last week to Chinese Foreign Minister Qian Qichen that Australia was strongly opposed to any further Chinese tests.

Nonetheless I warmly welcome the Chinese announcement that it will observe a moratorium on nuclear testing tomorrow. For the first time ever, this will mean that all five nuclear weapon states will be observing testing moratoria. This is an historic development.

I urge the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva to conclude a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty promptly. This Treaty will mark a definitive end to all nuclear testing.

The Conference on Disarmament resumes in Geneva later tonight to consider a draft Treaty text prepared by the Chair of the negotiations. I call on China, and all other members of the Conference on Disarmament, to support the Chair's text so that the Treaty can be referred to the UN General Assembly and opened for signature in September as called for by the international community.

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