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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release July 29, 1996


The United States regrets the underground nuclear test conducted by China last night but welcomes its announcement that it will now abide by a moratorium on nuclear testing effective July 30, 1996.

With the five declared nuclear weapons states now publicly committed to a global moratorium on nuclear testing, the urgent and historic task before the international community is to move swiftly to complete and sign a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).

When the Conference on Disarmament (CD) reconvenes today in Geneva, the United States will support without change the CTBT that the Chairman of the negotiating committee proposed when the negotiations adjourned last June and will call on all CD members to endorse and forward the Chairman's text without change to the United Nations so that the General Assembly can approve the treaty and open it for signature in September.

American leaders since the dawn of the nuclear age have believed a comprehensive test ban would be a major stride in the international fight against the spread of nuclear weapons... and toward our ultimate goal of nuclear disarmament. Over the past four decades, world leaders from London to New Delhi, along with citizens from around the globe, have worked hard to achieve a comprehensive ban on nuclear tests. Today, such a treaty is within our reach.

By constraining the development and improvement of nuclear weapons and ending the development of advanced new types of nuclear weapons, the CTBT will be a sturdy foundation for the safer, more peaceful, more secure world we seek for our children and our future.

The time has come to act in Geneva.

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