A Chinese general who threatened nuclear strikes against the United States in 2005 will visit the Pentagon this week as part of a U.S.-China military exchange program.
Maj. Gen. Zhu Chenghu, 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 head up a group of 10 senior colonels from all branches of the Chinese military, Wilkinson said.
The other officers taking part in the exchange were not identified.
In 2005, Zhu raised eyebrows for inflammatory comments made to two foreign news reporters 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.
At the time, a State Department spokesman called the comments “highly irresponsible.”
The comments caused concern within the Pentagon about the sincerity of China’s stated policy of not being the first to use nuclear weapons in a conflict.
When speaking of a defense of Taiwan by the U.S., Zhu said: “If the Americans are determined to interfere … we will be determined to respond.
"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.”
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