For right or wrong, I don't pay attention to much news, particularly political and/or international. I find it so frustrating that it just exacerbates my anxiety issues.
So, I've known for a few weeks that China has been making progressively more aggressive military moves towards Taiwan.
Within the last week, a video was leaked wherein Prime Minister Xi blatantly threatened to use nuclear weapons against Japan if Japan makes any attempt to intervene in the Taiwan conflict. What makes this even more interesting is that China signed the No First Use pact decades ago along with many other nuclear powers. The NFU forbids a nuclear equipped country from using nuclear weapons against a non-nuclear country. PM Xi also states that Japan would be the exception to this policy for China.
Honestly, what is China thinking? I can't honestly imagine any country wanting to start a nuclear war, what would it gain anyone?
I know that there is a history of bad blood between China and Japan. Japan did commit atrocities in China, but this...it just seems extreme.
In other news (and perhaps warranting it's own thread), there are theories floating around that the current Chinese government/economy is not sustainable given the government's level of authoritarian control over the people, suppression/censorship of information and their rapid economic growth.
There have also been demographic studies that point to a demographical collapse being possible due to falling birthrates despite China changing their 1 child only policy to a 2 child only policy in 2016.
An astonishing threat!
The statement was later deleted. it says in the link below.
I believe, in terms of military power, China has reached a position where they feel equal to other superpowers on this planet
However, any rationally thinking leader should be aware that a "first strike" will always be followed by a retalliatory strike from the other side, resulting in total destruction of all..
Nuclear Weapons: Who Has What at a Glance
U.S. and USSR/Russian nuclear weapons stockpiles, 1945–2014
The estimate of 350 nuclear warheads does not include the suspected air-launched ballistic/hypersonic missile, nor does it include the multiple, independent warheads that will be fitted on the DF-5C ICBM, potentially further increasing the size of China’s nuclear stockpile even after accounting for the retirement of older systems.
Nevertheless, the report noted that the size of the Chinese nuclear stockpile is still significantly below that of the United States and Russia, which have thousands of nuclear weapons in their respective stockpiles. The authors wrote that claims by the Trump administration’s special envoy for arms control, Marshall Billingslea, that China is striving for a form of “nuclear parity” with the U.S. and Russia “appears to have little basis in reality.”
It also added that China has traditionally maintained a low alert level for its nuclear forces, with most warheads at a central storage facility and smaller numbers kept in regional equivalents.
Tripled production may violate arms pact, says special presidential envoy for arms control
A couple things.
Yes. the Chinese approach to government is unsustainable. History shows us that the level of central planning in use there eventually collapses an economy due to gtoss innefficiency and corruption. They can accomplish amazing things in well defined subsets, but the overall economy suffers greatly.
China now has the largest Navy in the world in spite of the US outspending them militarily by a wide margin. A Navy is one of the best ways to deploy sustainable power to any place on the planet. Subs and carrier groups are massive strategic assets.
And now China is engaging in significant sabre rattling and, at least on the surface, very aggressive, tho risky words and actions.
Finally, one way a collapsing country can sustain itself, at least for a while, is by acquiring additional territory.
Thank you all for your responses. China's 'sabre rattling' reminds me of the same aggressive posture North Korea was portraying early in Trump's presidency. Between their unsanctioned underground nuclear tests, rocket/missile tests and outright 'sabre rattling'. But then, they just stopped. I haven't heard anything substantial about North Korea in a while.
Here is the thing I don't get. China is promoting the image right now of being fully capable and willing to start military conflict. Yes, the video during which PM Xi threatened to nuke Japan was taken down, but copies of it are still floating around the net (once on the internet, always on the internet). And they aren't about to 'take back' that statement.
Also, let's say China gets fully serious about invading Taiwan. China has to know that the allied military powers that support Taiwan's independence will be looking for ways to defend Taiwan.
China also must know that if they use nukes, the other nuclear powers will see that as justification and provocation to nuke them back. But as we have said, once you start retaliatory strikes, nobody wins. And that's the point that just doesn't make sense to me.
The world economy is so interdependent on international trade between virtually all countries. If China really starts being a military bully, I should think the 'western world' will be looking to pull out any economic/trade with China. That alone will do significant damage to a country whose entire rise to the power they are right now has been funded by western investment money into cheap labor factories. When that money is no longer there.
I know that the 'western powers' are already looking to move manufacturing and trade closer to home and are hoping to stop relying so much on Chinese goods. I'm quite frankly happy about that, but any significant trade move like that is going to take years to really get established and going. Factories have to be built, work-forces hired and trained, and trade agreements drawn up.