Beijing immediately began to distance the Chinese government away from the Professor/General. Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing tried to undercut the militant remarks by noting that China would not be the first to use nuclear weapons “at any time and under any circumstances…What the researcher (Zhu) said was only his personal view and did not represent the stance of the Chinese government.”

United States Secretary of Defense Donald Von Rumsfeld remarked that ‘With respect to General Zhu Chenghu, it will be interesting to see to what extent his remarks to or do not reflect the views of his government. I prefer to wait and see what transpires there.”

But some defense analyst and intelligence specialists are suggesting that Beijing is using these remarks as a warning to the United States to reconsider its promised defense of the Island nation of Taiwan.

But what would prompt such remarks. The People’s Liberation Army is hardly in a position to threaten or dictate terms to the world’s only nuclear super power. What sabers could they have in there arsenal to rattle? Here at Alt Press we have done some research and discovered that the Chinese dragon does, indeed, have claws talons and teeth.

The Chinese has in its nuclear naval inventory three classes of submarines. The first is the type 092 SSBN (submersible ship ballistic nuclear). There seems to be just one vessel in this class. It was commissioned in 1987 and is believed to be part of the north seas fleet. Its nuclear punch as in the form of the twelve Ju Lang 1 submarine launched ballistic missiles (SLBM). These were considered obsolete or ineffective with each missile range only 2,150 kilometers and carrying a single 250 kiloton warhead. But in the spring of this year all that changed. In June, The Washington Times reported that new missiles had been tested and this was confirmed by the pentagon. The new SBLM is the Ju-Lang 2. It was launched from a submarine and fired westwards toward a target down a test range on the Chinese mainland. It is believed this latest design has a range well over 9,656 kilometers. Thus, a Chinese submarine can now hit targets on the west coast of the United States from its patrol station in the far western Pacific.

But from what vessel was the Ju-Lang 2 launched? It is now thought that a newer 094 class of SSBN has now been put in service. U.S. intelligence has known of the plans to put the 094 into service, but this was thought to be several years in the future. But another defense official claims that the launch was far ahead of that schedule. The 094 is now in service and carrying the deadly Ju-Lang 2. How many more may be on the drawing board or in the inventory is a matter of speculation. But the existence of the nuclear attack submarine 903 SSN (submersible ship nuclear) is not. The 093 is thought to be similar in class to the Russian Victor-iii class. Unconfirmed reports indicate that at least one type 093 SSN has been launched and is undergoing sea trials. The vessel is capable of carrying wire and wave homing torpedoes, anti-ship cruise missiles, anti-submarine warfare missiles and mines, and land attack cruise missiles. U.S. intelligence has estimated that this vessel will be in service sometime this year.

Sunburned?

While China upgrades its strategic naval assets, it has not neglected tactical weapons. One of the deadliest anti ship cruise missiles in the world is now part of its surface fleet. The Russian built 3M-80E Moskit (NATO codename SS-N-22 Sunburn) was developed specifically to defeat the United States navy in a surface conflict. Over 100 sunburns were delivered to the Chinese navy beginning in 2001.

This cruise missile is armed with either a conventional 300- kiloton warhead carrying 150 kilograms of high explosives; or a 200- kiloton nuclear warhead. As deadly as the payload could be, the speed and maneuverability of this missile is decisive. This missile travels at a blistering mach 2.1 only 7-20 meters off the surface of the water. As it approaches the target the missile climbs suddenly and plunges nearly vertically onto tits target. The range is over 90 kilometers, and with its speed there is virtually no time to prepare any defense.

Nuclear armed sunburn could easily sink an American aircraft carrier.

The Chinese are concerned with protecting the 80% of their oil imports that pass through the straights of Malacca. They are in the process of setting up a number of military bases stretching to the middle- east. Beijing has set up an electronic listening post on Pakistan’s southwest coast. China has made military agreements with Bangladesh, Burma, Cambodia, and Thailand. These agreements exchange Chinese hardware for bases and influence and allies.

The most important of these installations is located on Great Coco Island, some 300 kilometers south of the Burmese coast in the Bay of Bengal.

The Chinese will increase their oil consumption over six its present level in the next ten years. They are doing everything they can to protect the source.

They are preparing to take on the United States navy to do so. By Grady Hawkins

Chinese General Zhu Chenghu, a professor at China’s National Defense University dropped a bomb, so to speak, when he declared “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.” The general’s comments were first published on July 15th in the Financial Times and the Asian Wall Street Journal. To add fuel to the nuclear fire Zhu went on to say ‘If the Americans are determined to interfere (with Taiwan) we will be determined to respond.”