China: Bang No. 7

In the seventh Chinese atomic test since Peking joined the nuclear club three years ago, the flash of a fireball last week lit up the desert around Lop Nor in northwestern China. It was the first test since last spring, when a Maoist mushroom cloud proved to the world that the Chinese had succeeded in the summa of atomic arts—building a hydrogen bomb. Bang No. 7 was far, far smaller, probably in the Hiroshima-bomb range of 20 kilotons. But it was no less menacing for being a minibang. Unless it was a partial...

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