A senior general in the Chinese army threatened to use nuclear arms against the United States in a conflict over the Taiwan Strait, prompting the Bush administration to call the remarks "highly irresponsible."
"If the Americans draw their missiles and position-guided ammunition onto the target zone on China's territory, I think we will have to respond with nuclear weapons," Maj. Gen. Zhu Chenghu said in yesterday's editions of the Financial Times and the Asian Wall Street Journal.
The comments were the most explicit statement of strategic intent by a Chinese military official since 1995, when another officer, Gen. Xiong Guangkai, implicitly threatened to use nuclear arms against Los Angeles if the United States intervened in a Taiwan conflict.
"If the Americans are determined to interfere ... we will be determined to respond," said Gen. Zhu, head of China's National Defense University. "We Chinese will prepare ourselves for the destruction of all of the cities east of Xian [in central China]. Of course the Americans will have to be prepared that hundreds ... of cities will be destroyed by the Chinese."
Why do we do business with our enemies? Mr. President, fix the deficit, end MFN status for China.