• Short Summary

    From October 16 to the end of September 1969, the Chinese Communists detonated ten nuclear devices.

  • Description

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    RECAP: 10 tests: 4 nuclear and six thermonuclear. Six airdropped, two on tower, one by missile and one underground.
    N - Nuclear, TN - thermonuclear.

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: From October 16 to the end of September 1969, the Chinese Communists detonated ten nuclear devices. Six of those tests involved thermo-nuclear devices.

    The Chinese Communists have an ample supply of natural Uranium. They have been producing the fissionable U-235 since about 1963 and the actual use of Plutonium as a fissionable material showed up for the first time in the December 1968, test of a thermonuclear device. The testing of thermonuclear devices indicates that they have the capability to produce both enriched Lithium and heavy water, both being essential elements for a fusion reaction.

    It is estimated that present Chinese stocks of U-235 are sufficient for only a few dozen weapons and further production of their fissionable materials production facilities may be required if a large scale nuclear weapons production capability is to be realized.

    The Chinese test program shows that they have successfully delivered and detonated a nuclear device both by aircraft and by missile.

    The Chinese Communists have been working on an MRBM (Medium Range Ballistic Missile) for a number of years and, by 1965, activity at the principle missile test range had become very noticeable. By the summer of 1967, the rate of test firings greatly exceeded the level considered normal for a research and development program. While there is no evidence of actual MRBM deployment at this time, it may begin sometime during 1970 and lead to a force of 80 to 100 MRBM's by the mid-1970's. Such a force would consist of missiles capable of delivering a 20 kiloton warhead up to 1,000 miles.

    The Chinese have tested weapons in the megaton range and could test their first ICBM (Intercontinental Ballistic Missile) next year. A year ago they were in the process of tearing down and rebuilding their ICBM launch site and today that test site appears to be essentially complete. The large 381-pound satellite the Chinese put in orbit on April 25, 1970, demonstrates their capability to successfully launch large boosters.

    The earliest estimated date that they could have an operational ICBM capability is the mid-1970's. A force of 10 to 25 ICBM's might be operational some two to three years later.

    This film, "Great Victory of Mao Tse-Tung's Thought', was made in September 1966 in Communist China. It describes the development of Communist China's nuclear weapons program and shows their first three nuclear tests.

    The first test occurred on October 16, 1964, and was detonated from a tower The second test, on May 14, 1965, was a device which was drooped from aircraft. The third test, a thermonuclear device, was detonated on a tower on May 9, 1966.

    This film shows site preparation for the tests, installation of instrumentation equipment, nuclear detonations, and the weapons' effects on buildings, agricultural products and animals. Military maneuvers are seen in the test areas following the explosions.

    An English language translation has been superimposed over the original Chinese language sound track.

    1. October 16 1964#N#Tower
    2. May 14 1964#N#Air Dropped
    3. May 9 1966#TN#200 KT#Tower
    4. October 1966#N#10 KT#Missile
    5. December 1966#TN#200 KT (approx)#Air Dropped
    6. June 1967#TN#3 MT#Air Dropped
    7. December 1967#TN#10-25 KT (Poss. failure)#Air Dropped
    8. December 27 1968#TN#3 MT#Air Dropped
    9. September 22 1969#N#25 KT#Underground
    10.September 29 1969#TN#3 KT#Air Dropped

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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