Officials yesterday condemned a Chinese military official's remarks that China was prepared to use nuclear weapons against the US if Washington attacked his country in a military conflict over Taiwan.
According to the Financial Times, Zhu Chenghu (
Zhu had made the remarks during a reception for foreign journalists organized in part by the Chinese government, the newspaper reported.
A Mainland Affairs Council official responded strongly to Zhu's remarks yesterday.
"We severely condemn Zhu's statement," said Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Vice Chairman You Ying-lung (
Zhu's statements, which seem to confirm some Taiwanese officials' worst suspicions about the PLA's hawkish leanings, are outside acceptable bounds of rhetoric in the international community, You said.
"After the two atomic bombs were dropped at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the international community doesn't want to see the re-emergence of nuclear catastrophe in the world," You said.
"Zhu's statement is a serious challenge to civilized society," he said.
Ministry of National Defense Spokesman Liou Chih-chien (劉志堅) also responded to the PLA official's comments, saying "the use of nuclear weapons is something that the international community will condemn."
Since its first atomic test in 1964, China's official doctrine has called for no first use of nuclear weapons.
But Zhu is not the first Chinese official to have referred to the possibility of using nuclear weapons in a military conflict over Taiwan.
Xiong Guangkai (熊光楷), now the PLA's deputy chief of general staff, once threatened to use nuclear weapons against the city of Los Angeles.
"Americans care more about Los Angeles than they do about Taiwan," Xiong told former US assistant defense secretary Chas Freeman in 1996 as a reminder that China's intercontinental missile force could target the US for siding with Taiwan in a cross-strait conflict.
While Zhu made his statement at an official briefing, he said that he was only expressing his own views, not that of the Chinese government, and added that he did not anticipate a conflict with Washington.
The Financial Times, however, described his threat to use nuclear weapons in a conflict over Taiwan as "the most specific by a senior Chinese official in nearly a decade."
You said the remarks were highly inappropriate, at the very least.
"It's doubtful that Zhu's statement represents his government's position," You said.
"If Zhu made his statement on behalf of the government, it was very serious. But if what he said was just his personal opinion, it was also inappropriate," You said.
REACHING OUT: President Tsai expressed condolences to the deceased man’s family and wished a speedy recovery to those who were wounded in the shooting The Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA) on Monday called on the US to label organizations associated with the suspect in the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church shooting as domestic terrorists, following accusations that he was a member of a group backing unification with ties to the Chinese government. David Wenwei Chou (周文偉), 68, was arrested on Sunday and is being held in lieu of US$1 million bail at the Orange County Intake Release Center over a mass shooting at the California church that left one dead and five wounded. Local police suspect the shooting was politically motivated after they found notes in
NO CONSENSUS YET: Local governments and the CECC have agreed to change the ‘3+4’ self-isolation policy, but are still mulling what to replace it with The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) and local governments have agreed to ease restrictions on close contacts of COVID-19 cases, although the details are still being discussed, the center said yesterday. The discussions follow Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) on Saturday approving a proposal to shorten the “3+4” policy — three days of home isolation followed by four days of self-disease prevention — for close contacts who have received booster doses. “We did not reach a consensus on how to revise the current restrictions, but we all agreed that the administrative burden must be reduced and the intensity of restrictions must be eased,
OPPOSING CHINESE ‘HOSTILITY’: The bill orders the state secretary to create a plan to regain observer status for Taiwan, saying Taipei is a model contributor to world health US President Joe Biden on Friday signed a bill into law to help Taiwan regain observer status at the World Health Assembly (WHA), demonstrating Washington’s support for Taiwan’s international participation. Friday was the deadline for Biden to sign the bill (S.812), which directs “the Secretary of State to develop a strategy to regain observer status for Taiwan in the World Health Organization (WHO), and for other purposes.” The 75th WHA, the decisionmaking body of the WHO, is scheduled to meet in Geneva, Switzerland, from Sunday next week to May 28. The bill, introduced by US Senator Bob Menendez, chairman of the US Senate
LIVING WITH COVID-19: Close contacts with a booster shot would no longer follow the ‘3+4’ policy, instead practicing ‘0+7,’ or self-disease prevention for seven days Close contacts of COVID-19 cases who have received a booster shot no longer need to isolate at home, but should practice seven days of “self-disease prevention,” effective today, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that starting at 12am today, close contacts — people living in the same household — of those confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 are exempt from home isolation if they have received a booster shot of a COVID-19 vaccine. Data from other countries show that people who have received a booster shot are