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Chinese Official Attends Vienna Nuclear Conference Under Guise of Academic

© Flickr / The Official CTBTO Photostream Despite declining to officially attend the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, Beijing did send an official.
Despite declining to officially attend the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, Beijing did send an official. - Sputnik International
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It appears that Beijing is more interested in the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons as it seemed before. One of the scholars attending the conference could be a disguised high-profile Chinese official, a source reveals.

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VIENNA, December 9 (Sputnik), Daria Chernyshova — Despite declining to officially attend the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, Beijing did send an official, in an academic capacity, making China the third nuclear power to participate in the conference, along with the United Kingdom and the United States, a conference speaker told Sputnik Tuesday.

"China has sent somebody who is not officially here as a representative of China, but he is a very high level Chinese official who deals with nuclear weapons, and he is here as ‘academic’, but he is certainly here to listen on behalf of the Chinese government," a conference speaker told Sputnik on condition of anonymity.

The source also praised the last minute decision of the United States and the UK to attend the conference, deeming it a positive sign that could potentially lead to global nuclear disarmament.

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"I think it was really good that the United States and the United Kingdom at the last minute decided to come. Even if they disagree with everything that is being said here, I hope that by being in the room you might hear something or listen to something that might lead to changing some of your views," the source pointed out.

That makes Russia and France the only ones of the five officially recognized nuclear powers not attending the third conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, which brings together representatives from almost 160 nations, drawing participants from civil society, international organizations and academia.

"Probably Russia is not here right now because relations between Russia and the West are so difficult at the moment. I think that is unfortunate, I do not understand this,” the speaker told Sputnik adding that even if the countries disagree, it is better when they are in the same room.

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The Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons is taking place on December 8-9 in Hofburg Palace in the Austrian capital. Its aim is to promote nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation. According to the conference's organization committee, over 16,000 nuclear warheads still exist, many of which are on “high alert”.

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