On Oct. 16, 1964, China detonated its first atomic bomb.
From History, this day, New York Times
China Tests Atomic Bomb
Asks Summit Talk On Ban; Johnson Minimizes Peril
U.S. Is Denounced Peking Says Purpose of Test Is to Defend Peace of World U.S. Is Denounced as Peace Threat Peking Pledges It Will Not Be First to Use Weapon- Parley Aim Discounted
By SEYMOUR TOPPING
The New York Times, October 16, 1964
Hong Kong, Oct. 16--Communist China announced tonight that it had exploded its first atom bomb. Peking pledged that it would never be the first to use nuclear weapons in the future.
A communique stated that a nuclear test was successfully conducted at 3 P.M. Peking time (3 A.M., Eastern daylight time) in the western region of China. No details were disclosed. [In Washington, the test site was reported to be in Sinkiang, a province bordering the Soviet Union.]
"The success of China's nuclear test is a major achievement of the Chinese people in the strengthening of their national defense and the safeguarding of their motherland as well as a major contribution by the Chinese people to the cause of the defense of world peace," the communique asserted.
An accompanying Government statement declared that the purpose of developing nuclear weapons was to protect the Chinese people "from the danger of the United States' launching a nuclear war."
Excesses Ruled Out
"On the question of nuclear weapons, China will commit neither the error of adventurism, nor the error of capitulation," the statement said. "The Chinese people can be trusted."
The Peking statement formally proposed to the governments of the world that a universal summit conference be convened to discuss the question of a complete prohibition on and the thorough destruction of nuclear weapons.
It said that as a first step the summit conference "should reach agreement to the effect that the nuclear powers and those countries which will soon become nuclear powers undertake not to use them against nonnuclear countries and nuclear-free zones nor against each other."
The proposal was dismissed by Western observers here as propaganda. The terms do not allow for practical negotiations with a view to reaching specific agreements, they commented.
Although Communist China became the world's fifth nuclear nation, following the United States, the Soviet Union, Britain and France, specialists here doubted that it had the capability of becoming a first-class military power during this decade.
The principal advantage accruing to it immediately is psychological and political. The entry of the first nonwhite nation into the exclusive "nuclear club" was regarded here as certain to have a strong impact on the peoples of Asia and Africa despite United States efforts to prepare them for Peking's accomplishment.
Western experts have estimated that it will take several years before the Chinese can build a delivery system. The withdrawal of Soviet military aid in 1960 disrupted Peking's program to develop ballistic missiles and left its air force largely obsolescent.
Altogether, this has been a triumphant day for Communist China.
The nuclear test was successfully carried out less than 12 hours after the announcement that Nikita S. Khrushchev, ideological arch-enemy of Peking, had been ousted from the leadership of the Soviet party and Government.
Greetings Sent to Brezhnev
Mao Tse-tung, chairman of the Chinese Communist party, and other top leaders, extended "warm greetings" in a message to Leonid I. Brezhnev, the new Soviet party leader; Aleksei N. Kosygin, the new Premier, and Anastas I. Mikoyan, President, who retained his office.
A cautiously worded Chinese message avoided mentioning Mr. Khrushchev or any outstanding issues. However, it concluded with a series of exhortations that analysts here viewed as an invitation to a new attempt at some kind of rapprochement. The message said:
"May the Chinese and Soviet parties and the two countries unite on the basis of Marxism- Leninism and proletarian internationalism!
"May the fraternal, unbreakable friendship between the Chinese and Soviet peoples continuously develop!
"May the Chinese and Soviet peoples win one victory after another in their common struggled against imperialism headed by the United States and for the defense of world peace!"
Wishes for Soviet Success
The message also expressed the hope that the Soviet party and Government "will achieve new successes in their construction work in all fields and in the struggle for the defense of world peace."
The signers of the message were Mr. Mao; Liu Shao-chi, President; Marshal Chu Teh, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National Peoples' Congress, and Chou En-lai, Premier.
Specialists on Soviet relations believe that the imminence of the detonation of the Chinese bomb was a factor in the decision by the Central Committee Wednesday to remove Mr. Khrushchev. A majority of the Soviet leadership evidently decided, for tactical reasons, at least, to adopt a more flexible attitude toward Communist China.
The Italian and Rumanian and many other parties have been opposed to any move to exclude the Chinese from the international movement. The imminent nuclear test was certain to give more weight to their views.
The analysts said that a formal split in the international Communist movement had been postponed and possibly averted by the ouster of Mr. Khrushchev.
The texts of the Moscow announcements were published this morning in Peking newspapers without comment. Jenmin Jih Pao, official organ, which carried the announcements under the headline "Kruschev Steps Down," subordinated them to a report on the cotton industry.
There was no expectation among analysts here that the change in Moscow would lead to any early settlement of the fundamental issues between Moscow and Peking. Divergencies of both ideological and national interests have become so profound that no quick solution is regarded as possible.
As part of the day's triumphs, the Labor victory in Britain was certain to please the Chinese Communists. Harold Wilson, the new British Prime Minister, has favored an improvement of relations with Peking and the detonation of its bomb was thought likely to reinforce his attitude.
The United States has opposed any disarmament agreement that would ban nuclear weapons without concurrent restrictions on conventional arms. Confronted by a Chinese Communist Army of two and a half million men, the United States, in defending Southeast Asia or Taiwan, would have to depend on its nuclear arsenal to curb aggression.
The Chinese statement obviously was intended to reassure the nonaligned nations, which have expressed misgivings about Peking's failure to adhere to the nuclear test ban treaty signed in Moscow last summer by the United States, Britain and the Soviet Union.
The statement described the treaty as a "big fraud" to fool the world about attempts by the signatories to consolidate their nuclear monopoly.
>The statement reiterated the thesis of Mao Tse-tung, chairman of the Chinese Communist party, that the "atom bomb is a paper tiger" and that people, not weapons, decide wars. It said that aim of Communist China in developing nuclear weapons was "to break the nuclear monopoly of the nuclear powers and to eliminate nuclear weapons."
Hsinhua, the Chinese Communist press agency, reported that Mr. Mao and other leaders received more than a thousand young people, who sang and danced in a performance entitled "The East Glows Red."
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Friday, October 16, 2009
53) China detonates an atomic bomb! - Easy: it was in 1964
Posted by Paulo Roberto de Almeida at 10/16/2009 11:51:00 AM
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