Created: 5/22/1993

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Special Analysis

for Joining Test Ban Treaty

^IrtoirgA China probably it reluctant toomprekentirt test ban maty and probably will oppose any treaty proposal that would permit tow-yield eiprrimen ts, it appears to be preparing for the option of joining the treatyeanwhile, it willigorous tqti'n piogram to complete planned nuclear weapons development.]

Beijing probably views testing moratoriums by the other nuclear slates as temporary and would not be likely to curtail its own infrequent testing activities, Although China may be reluctant toest ban treaty, some Chinese official* have indicated that it may be willing to do so if the other four nuclear powers compteie such an

considered ana mat China may already be plaoningalt in nuclear testing

agreement. (

A lest ban that lakes effect during this decade would significantly inhibit China's development of new warhead designs, which iu nuclear test program has historically focused on. It would also prevent the incorporation of safety upgrades, such as insensitive high explosives, into the stockpile Work on such upgrades, advanced primary and secondary technology, and development of subkiloton nuclear devices would be relegated to computer simulations and nonnuclear testing. Because China's nuclear testing experience is limited and its computing capabilities are modest, it probably would not be able to introduce any of these technologies into us stockpile

Stockpile Confidenceest Ban

The mechanical and material problems that inevitablythe aging of China's nuclear warheads wouldconfidence in its stockpileest ban. Its reliancea few nuclear weapons designsroblem could affectpan of its stockpile. The simple nature of its warheadbe an asset because minor stockpile problems probablyresolved without nuclear testing. Beijing probably could notmajor problem without testing, however, and thus would be atas compared with the other nuclear

Maintaining confidenceuclear stockpileest ban depends on keeping experienced designers, engineers, and technicians. If such personnel arc allowed to pursue work in other fields or if their expertise declines becauseack of testing, confidence in being able to find and remedy problems io the stockpile

would diminish-!

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