China is prepared to use nuclear weapons against the US if it is attacked by Washington during a confrontation over Taiwan, a Chinese general said on Thursday.Pass the cognac to Marine Momma for the tip, and jlfintx, have an Ugly Ripe tomato.
“If the Americans draw their missiles and position-guided ammunition on to the target zone on China's territory, I think we will have to respond with nuclear weapons," said General Zhu Chenghu.
Gen Zhu was speaking at a function for foreign journalists organised, in part, by the Chinese government. He added that China's definition of its territory included warships and aircraft.
“If the Americans are determined to interfere [then] we will be determined to respond," said Gen Zhu, who is also a professor at China's National Defence University.
“We . . . will prepare ourselves for the destruction of all of the cities east of Xian. Of course the Americans will have to be prepared that hundreds . . . of cities will be destroyed by the Chinese."
Gen Zhu is a self-acknowledged “hawk" who has warned that China could strike the US with long-range missiles. But his threat to use nuclear weapons in a conflict over Taiwan is the most specific by a senior Chinese official in nearly a decade.
However, some US-based China experts cautioned that Gen Zhu probably did not represent the mainstream People's Liberation Army view.
“He is running way beyond his brief on what China might do in relation to the US if push comes to shove," said one expert with knowledge of Gen Zhu. “Nobody who is cleared for information on Chinese war scenarios is going to talk like this," he added.
Gen Zhu's comments come as the Pentagon prepares to brief Congress next Monday on its annual report on the Chinese military, which is expected to take a harder line than previous years. They are also likely to fuel the mounting anti-China sentiment on Capitol Hill.
In recent months, a string of US officials, including Donald Rumsfeld, defence secretary, have raised concerns about China's military rise. The Pentagon on Thursday declined to comment on “hypothetical scenarios".
Rick Fisher, a former senior US congressional official and an authority on the Chinese military, said the specific nature of the threat “is a new addition to China's public discourse". China's official doctrine has called for no first use of nuclear weapons since its first atomic test in 1964. But Gen Zhu is not the first Chinese official to refer to the possibility of using such weapons first in a conflict over Taiwan.
Chas Freeman, a former US assistant secretary of defence, said in 1996 that a PLA official had told him China could respond in kind to a nuclear strike by the US in the event of a conflict with Taiwan. The official is believed to have been Xiong Guangkai, now the PLA's deputy chief of general staff.
Gen Zhu said his views did not represent official Chinese policy and he did not anticipate war with the US.
DOZENS of extremist groups, including al-Qaeda, are no longer hiding in caves and recruiting from the desert. Increasingly, they're using the internet to send messages, spread hatred, and recruit and train members.The passer-by who could be ready for death
Earlier this year, the Washington-based Search for International Terrorist Sites Institute, which monitors terrorist websites, uncovered a 26-minute video documentary that offered a step-by-step guide on how to make a "suicide-belt" bomb for use on a crowded bus.
A simple search query today brings a list of sites from the darkest parts of the internet, including the highly-publicised text books The Anarchist Cookbook and The Terrorist's Handbook.
The latter gives instructions on how to build bombs and concoct poison and chemical agents.
The internet is also used to connect terrorists with willing bomb-makers. Richard Reid, the 29-year-old so-called shoe bomber, is said to have told investigators that he acquired his explosives from a dealer in Amsterdam, whom he tracked down through the internet.
The web is also a resource for al-Qaeda to publicise its messages. One of the methods employed to hide messages is steganography, a technology that hides documents and secret messages inside digital photographs, maps and other images.
Alneda.com, an al-Qaeda site that first appeared after the 11 September attacks, has functioned for the past four years as a so-called internet parasite - a site that is embedded within another website without the site owner's knowledge.
A cat-and-mouse game with enforcement agencies led the website to show up inside the sites of a 14-year-old student, a software security firm and a horror movie fan's tribute pages to the director Clive Barker.
One of the most-watched al-Qaeda websites, although its location and URL address constantly changes, is Sawt al-Jihad (Voice of Jihad). The site first carried the declaration of war by Osama bin Laden against the United States in 1998.
Another al-Qaeda website, al-Battar, offers chilling details on how to conduct private and public kidnappings.
Al-Battar, which means The Sword, is posted on the internet twice a month. It is one of several websites that posted footage of the beheading of hostages in Iraq.
Another website - al- Muhajiroun - threatens to murder, crucify or cut off the hands and feet of anyone who co-operates with American forces in the war on terrorism.
Still another - 357 Islamic Hosting - provides a way to set up terrorisist websites, "anonymity guaranteed". It even accepts credit cards.
"The 'culture' of rape that exists in India and Pakistan arises from profound social anomalies, its origins lying in the unchanging harshness of a moral code based on the concepts of honor and shame," Rushdie wrote in an opinion column published Sunday in the New York Times.There are a few brave women who are fighting this battle for all women and they're a blessing to all of us: The heroic women of Pakistan
"Thanks to that code's ruthlessness, raped women will go on hanging themselves in the woods and walking into rivers to drown themselves. It will take generations to change that. Meanwhile, the law must do what it can."
Women in Pakistan are often subjected to brutal crimes such as murder, rape and being burnt with acid.
Rushdie also criticized India, saying the legal system should not recognize decisions by Muslim legal experts such as those from the powerful Islamist seminary Darul-Uloom that deny women their rights.
"At the risk of being called a communalist, I must agree that any country that claims to be a modern, secular democracy must secularize and unify its legal system, and take power over women's lives away, once and for all, from medievalist institutions like Darul-Uloom," Rushdie wrote.
Within hours of the attack on London, some of the Muslim world's most influential preachers were expressing their outrage.Can Islam's leaders reach its radicals?
Sheikh Mohammed Tantawi, who runs the venerable Al Azhar university in Cairo, told Islamonline.com, "Those responsible for the London attacks are criminals who do not represent Islam."
Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an influential Muslim scholar based in Qatar with a vast Internet and satellite television following, called the blasts "cruel and barbaric black actions that Islam harshly condemns."
But even a man like Mr. Qaradawi - a controversial figure who has some credibility with extremists for his past praise of suicide attacks against Israel - has little influence among the tiny sliver of Muslims who are now prosecuting what they see as a global jihad, analysts say.