A Chinese general who once threatened to use nuclear weapons against hundreds of U.S. cities will visit the Pentagon this week as part of a U.S.-China military exchange program.
Maj. Gen. Zhu Chenghu, who is head of China’s National Defense University, will take part in a “familiarization exchange,” Maj. Catherine Wilkinson, a Pentagon spokeswoman, told the Free Beacon.
“The delegation will visit Hawaii and D.C.,” she said. “A military delegation from the U.S. Pacific Command will visit China later this year for a reciprocal exchange.”
Zhu will lead a group of 10 senior colonels from all branches of the Chinese military, Wilkinson said. She declined to provide the names of the officers.
Zhu is best known for inflammatory comments made to two foreign news reporters in 2005 when he said China would use nuclear weapons against the United States in any conflict over Taiwan.
“If the Americans draw their missiles and position [sic]-guided ammunition onto the target zone on China’s territory, I think we will have to respond with nuclear weapons,” Zhu told reporters for the Financial Times and the Asian edition of the Wall Street Journal, according to their July 14, 2005, editions.
“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,” he said.
Zhu was neither reprimanded nor fired after the comments, an indication his remarks reflected official military policy.
Wilkinson, the Pentagon spokeswoman, did not respond when asked if officials had reservations about inviting a Chinese general who threatened nuclear strikes against the United States.
However, former State Department official John Tkacik, a China affairs specialist, said Zhu’s comments in 2005 undermined Beijing’s public nuclear policy and was authorized the Central Military Commission, the ultimate power organ in communist-ruled China.
Zhu also was never penalized for the comments and in fact was later promoted, Tkacik said.
“Gen. Zhu’s propensity to threaten nuclear war against adversaries without regard for China’s supposed commitment to ‘no first use,’ his subsequent military promotions and his continued prolixity in China’s official communist party media should be a clear signal to American policy-makers that Chinese state policy is to use nuclear weapons as an instrument of intimidation,” Tkacik said in an email.
Legislation was passed as part of the 2000 Defense Authorization Act that limited Chinese exchanges to sites and information that did not boost Chinese power projection capabilities or nuclear forces.
However, the Pentagon has largely ignored the law and frequently provided access to sensitive U.S. military facilities, including war game experimentation centers.
The legislation was passed after China learned a key vulnerability of U.S. aircraft carriers during one visit in the late 1990s.
According to defense officials, a Chinese military visitor asked a U.S. Navy officer where the most vulnerable point of a carrier is located. He was told that it underneath the ship near its ammunition magazine.
Months after the disclosure, China was detected by U.S. intelligence agencies purchasing high-technology wake-homing torpedoes from Russia that can dive beneath a ship and strike underneath.
Full article: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner — Chinese general who threatened nuclear strike on U.S. visits Washington this week (Washington Free Beacon)