Taiwan, China and nukes

World Peace Herald

“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.

Fine. Then pretty clearly the first American response to a Chinese attack, or even serious indications of an impending attack, on Taiwan has to be to take out China’s ICBMs. That doesn’t necessarily mean a nuclear first strike, since there are conventional options that could achieve the objective though at a higher cost. A little “strategic ambiguity” on the subject is probably in order, but the Chinese should be let to know that the first US response to an attack on Taiwan will be to eliminate any Chinese capability to strike the US with nuclear weapons, by whatever means necessary.