China May Be Conducting Secret Nuclear Tests, State Department Warns

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Chinese military vehicles carrying DF-100 cruise missiles roll during a parade.
Chinese military vehicles carrying DF-100 cruise missiles roll during a parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the founding of Communist China in Beijing, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

The State Department is concerned China may be conducting small nuclear tests in secret, possibly violating an international agreement banning such tests, Fox News confirmed Wednesday.

A new State Department report on compliance with arms control, nonproliferation and disarmament, first obtained by The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, found that China may be flouting international law by conducting the tests within the northwest region of the country, using low explosive power.

The report didn't prove any wrongdoing on the part of the Chinese, but still raised red flags.

"Some compliance concerns are raised and some findings of violations are made," it read.

Officials wrote that China had maintained a "high level of activity" at its Lop Nur site in 2019, and could be seeking to operate it year-round going forward.

It also mentioned China's use of explosive containment chambers, extensive evacuations at the site and lack of transparency on nuclear testing as reasons for raising suspicions.

The report went on to cite further concerns about China's possible violation of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) by engaging "in biological activities with potential dual-use application."

The U.S. government also could not determine whether China had shut down its biological warfare program, nor could it confirm if Beijing still had access to such weapons, due to its lack of openness and transparency.

-- Fox News' Bret Baier, Gregg Re, Charles Creitz and Martha MacCallum contributed to this report.

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