Xiang kept his eyes on the armored carrier, not wanting to crash into it. It did not have taillights and the oversized tires threw immense amounts of dust into the air. A collision would be more than disastrous.
He risked a glance in the rear-view to check on the minister and the general. Both were dressed in what seemed like ballroom finery, the minister wearing a black silk suit with starched white shirt, the general in a high collar encrusted in golden oak leaves.
The carrier stopped. Xiang put the limousine in park.
The soldiers tumbled out of the carrier and formed an honor guard, weapons held tight to their shoulders.
Xiang got out, went to the minister’s door and opened it.
The general climbed out too, placing his oversized peaked cap squarely on his head.
He walked out into the marigolds, looked around. “Yes,” he said. “This will do.”
In 1958, Deng Xiaoping selected Haibei to be the epicenter of China’s nuclear weapons development efforts, building the Northwest Nuclear Weapons Research and Design Academy based on Soviet designs. The academy was the site of much of China’s early weapons design work, including the development of China’s first atom bomb and first hydrogen bomb. It was also the earliest site for the centralized storage of nuclear weapons.
The fact that it is also the Tibet Autonomous Region was not considered.