US lawmaker calls ties with Beijing into question as officials sneer at nuke threat

Discussion in 'Politics' started by -Cp, Jul 19, 2005.

  1. -Cp

    -Cp Senior Member

    Sep 23, 2004
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    US officials are incensed over what they see as threats by a senior Chinese military officer to use nuclear weapons against US cities.

    In a letter sent to Chinese ambassador to the US Zhou Wenzhong (©P¤å*«), Republican Representative Tom Tancredo slammed Major General Zhu Chenghu (¦¶¦¨ªê) for making the comments and demanded an immediate apology from the Chinese government.

    "For a senior government official to exhibit such tremendous stupidity by making such a brazen threat is hardly characteristic of a modern nation," Tancredo said in the letter, released yesterday.

    "The US decision to recognize Communist China in 1979 was predicated on the commitment of your [Zhou's] country to resolve its differences with Taiwan peacefully," Tancredo wrote.

    "If China continues to walk down this destructive path, I believe that the US may be forced to revisit the decision to establish diplomatic ties with your country in the first place," the letter said.

    Senior US military officials described Zhu's words as foolhardy.

    "This serves no purpose other than pissing off Congress," a US government source told the Taipei Times yesterday.

    "I could see China retaliating in kind to a US attack on China, but to go as far as to publicly threaten a nuclear response is just crazy," the source said.

    "I don't think comments like this do anything to deter the United States from its legal and moral obligations under the Taiwan Relations Act to assist Taiwan in defending itself," he said.

    In comments reported in yesterday's editions of the Asian Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times, Zhu said if the US intervened in a Taiwan Strait conflict, China "will be determined to respond."

    "We Chinese will prepare ourselves for the destruction of all the cities east of Xian," Zhu said.

    "Of course, the Americans will have to be prepared that hundreds of cities will be destroyed by the Chinese," the major general said.

    When asked if Zhu's threat was credible, a former Pentagon official laughed off the claim.

    "That's an exaggeration," he said. "There is no question about it."

    China's force of nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missiles is currently "less than 20 CSS-4s [also called the Dong Feng-5]," the official said.

    CSS-4s are silo-based missiles, and have a range of up to an estimated 12,000km.

    The former Pentagon official also warned that the US' standing policy regarding use of nuclear weapons would not be favorable for Beijing as the US' nuclear deterrent was far more capable than China's.


    According to statistics supplied by the Federation of American Scientists, the US maintains an active deterrent force -- ready to be launched within 15 minutes -- of more than 2,000 nuclear weapons, the vast bulk of which are deployed on missile submarines and are capable of striking targets almost anywhere in the world.

    A nuclear attack on the US or its forces would require "full response in kind, with the end focus being on regime change," the former Pentagon official said.

    "If China nuked the US, it would mean the end of the Chinese Communist Party," he said.
  2. no1tovote4

    no1tovote4 Gold Member

    Apr 13, 2004
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    Go Tom! Man I am so glad that he is my Rep.

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