Thursday, July 14, 2005 / World / Asia-Pacific - China ‘ready to use N-weapons against US’ / World / Asia-Pacific - China ‘ready to use N-weapons against US’: "“If the Americans draw their missiles and position-guided ammunition on
to the target zone on China's territory, I think we will have to
respond with nuclear weapons,” Zhu Chenghu, a major general in the
People's Liberation Army, said at an official briefing."

This is the old Soviet game of bluff and bluster. Not speaking for the government but nonetheless speaking for the militant branch of the Communist Party and the Army says again that China is willing to use nuclear weapons in any conflict over Taiwan. It's part of the bluster that you would see in a conflict between two groups of monkeys or men. Someone comes out and bellows and pounds their chest as both groups pose and assess the willingness to fight of the other. It does not really reflect any imminent conflict unless of course one of the parties immediately flinches. It's much more complicated than that but it's effectively how you can characterize the words of Zhu Chenghu. Not speaking for his government he is nonetheless probing the willingness of the United States to stand by it's commitment to defend Taiwan. If the United States flinches at the screeching of this buffoon then it will provide ammunition for the militant forces in China who will be strengthened and more willing to invade Taiwan. Right now it serves the same exact purpose of the massing of the missiles and other military capabilities across the Straits - namely to sow doubt and present a dangerous face to China that the militant Chinese mistakenly think will give them an advantage.

What the Chinese need to understand is that these sort of tactics perform just the opposite reaction as hoped for. These sorts of comments in fact strengthen the hands of those who would ring the alarm bell against Chinese intentions in the world. Less money for defense and less resolve in defending it's commitments would more naturally come from a China who leashes radical voices like Zhu's. When the Defense Secretary can quote someone like Zhu who is a professor at China's National Defense University and a Major General in the People's Liberation Army, it's worth billions in defense funding. Thank you General Zhu, you're acting like a great American Patriot.


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