A senior Chinese general has warned that his country could destroy hundreds of American cities with nuclear weapons if the two nations clashed over Taiwan.Well, I should hope it would.
Major general Zhu Chenghu, a dean at the National Defence University, said he was expressing a private opinion, but his comments, the most inflammatory by a senior government official in 10 years, will fuel growing concerns in Washington about the rise of China.
...Echoing threats last made in 1995, Mr Zhu, who has a reputation as a hawk in Chinese military circles, said his country was ready to sustain heavy casualties in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and other heavily populated areas.
"We Chinese will prepare ourselves for the destruction of all of the cities east of Xian," he said. "Of course, the Americans will have to be prepared that hundreds of cities will be destroyed by the Chinese."
Although Mr Zhu said war was unlikely, his proposal that China should adopt a first-strike nuclear option against the US will alarm the Pentagon.
Via ChinaDaily, Beijing has emphasized that General Zhu was expressing his "personal views". I suspect China's leadership rather likes having someone like Zhu running around making wild threats, while it remains comparatively calm. Kind of a geopolitical good cop-bad cop routine.
Simon World rounds up reactions to Zhu's remarks. Check here, here, here, and here.