China opens 'nuclear city' to tourists

Updated: 2007-05-04 08:20

BEIJING- Tourists can now visit China's "nuclear city," where the country developed its first atomic and hydrogen bombs, state media reported Thursday.

The weapons research and production base, now called Xihai Township, in northwest China's Qinghai province has been declassified, Xinhua News Agency said, and the public will be able to visit its underground research laboratory and command room.

"The underground headquarters of the nuclear weapons research and production base are a curiosity to many people. They can see the 'nuclear city' for themselves," said Zuo Xumin, an official in the Haibei Tibet Autonomous Prefecture, where the base is located, according to the report.

The base was built in 1958 in the grasslands of northern Qinghai. It was closed by the central government in 1987 and handed over to the local government in 1993.
China exploded its first nuclear device in 1964.

Xinhua said a museum has been built at the base, where old telegraphs, machines, clothes and food coupons belonging to the people who worked at the base are shown.

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