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The use of nuclear weapons in Taiwan war

This is a discussion on The use of nuclear weapons in Taiwan war within the Strategic Defense forums, part of the China Defense & Military category; Reading the Chinese language websites about Taiwan issue, it looks that the war on Taiwan is no longer an 'If' ...

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    taijisheng is offline New Member
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    The use of nuclear weapons in Taiwan war

    Reading the Chinese language websites about Taiwan issue, it looks that the war on Taiwan is no longer an 'If' but a 'when'. Many possible war scenario's have been discussed hier, but one particular aspect, the use of nuclear weapons, hasn't been discussed a much.

    In the 2nd world war, the u.s used nuclear weapons on Japan to avoid heavy casualties on their side, the same logic apply here. By use tactical nuclear weapons on Taiwanese military bases, the war can be finished within short time, the losses of Taiwanese civilian lives and PLA soldiers will be limited, and a direct war between china and the u.s. won't take place. At the time that the first nuclear bomb explodes, the Taiwanese army will realize that they can't possibly win the war, and the u.s. army will freeze their action, major taiwanese based will be knocked out and the war will be finished in one week. China will take heavy political damage, but Taiwan will be China's and after some years all major countries will forget about it. All China need to do is to arm some of the almost 1000 missels with tactical nuclear war heads.

    So why should China not do this ? and instead fight a war in which it will face the u.s. and japan in a naval/air battle ? Looking at the history of chinese navy/air force, even with the modern weapons, it will still be like an amature boxer fighting two professionals. According to the teaching of Suntzu, China should either try to win without a gunfire, or use ALL the weapons at it's disposal to win the war in a decisive way, the use of nuclear weapons fits perfectly in this logic.

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    FriedRiceNSpice's Avatar
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    Re: The use of nuclear weapons in Taiwan war

    Well, 1000 conventional missiles should be more than sufficient to knock out every major Taiwanese military base and air base. After that, send in overwhelmingly large numbers of aircraft for further psychological impact, and the same results can be achieved without the political backlash of using nuclear weapons.

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    Re: The use of nuclear weapons in Taiwan war

    Quote Originally Posted by taijisheng View Post
    Reading the Chinese language websites about Taiwan issue, it looks that the war on Taiwan is no longer an 'If' but a 'when'. Many possible war scenario's have been discussed hier, but one particular aspect, the use of nuclear weapons, hasn't been discussed a much.

    In the 2nd world war, the u.s used nuclear weapons on Japan to avoid heavy casualties on their side, the same logic apply here. By use tactical nuclear weapons on Taiwanese military bases, the war can be finished within short time, the losses of Taiwanese civilian lives and PLA soldiers will be limited, and a direct war between china and the u.s. won't take place. At the time that the first nuclear bomb explodes, the Taiwanese army will realize that they can't possibly win the war, and the u.s. army will freeze their action, major taiwanese based will be knocked out and the war will be finished in one week. China will take heavy political damage, but Taiwan will be China's and after some years all major countries will forget about it. All China need to do is to arm some of the almost 1000 missels with tactical nuclear war heads.

    So why should China not do this ? and instead fight a war in which it will face the u.s. and japan in a naval/air battle ? Looking at the history of chinese navy/air force, even with the modern weapons, it will still be like an amature boxer fighting two professionals. According to the teaching of Suntzu, China should either try to win without a gunfire, or use ALL the weapons at it's disposal to win the war in a decisive way, the use of nuclear weapons fits perfectly in this logic.
    These discussion do not last long on SD because of the inevitable convrfrontation between Taiwan posters and their supporters, and PRC posters and their supporters over such an issue. I would suggest you avoid it.

    But, in a clear answer to such a contention...the Japanese had no allies...no one who could do a bloody thing about what the US chose to do to end World War II and reduce casualties.

    Not so with Taiwan. If the PRC used nuclear weapons of any type against Taiwan, they would invite an exchange in kind, certainly from Taiwan if they (as some contend) have some weapons spirited away, and especially from the US who would view it as an unbelievable escalation against a nation (island) that an Act of the US Congress says the US will defend against agression.

    If the PRC uses nuclear weapons to try and start and end such a war quickly, they will only find that just as quickly the US responds in a similar fashion against PRC bases to prevent it...it escalates from there to a very, very bad place...particularly for the PRC IMHO. They will not play to such a strength as that which the US holds in this area.

    That is why the PRC is buil;ding up such a massive conventional force in the area.

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    FriedRiceNSpice's Avatar
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    Re: The use of nuclear weapons in Taiwan war

    The US would not use nuclear weapons in any situation, they do not want to escalate the situation further. The US would step up and prevent an invasion of Taiwan, but in my opinion they will and easily can do it in a conventional fashion. US submarines and naval based air power can destroy the entire Chinese fleet within a single week. Only if the PLA uses nuclear weapons on American naval assets would the US respond in kind. The US will likely use conventional ballistic missiles and cruise missiles to strike mainland Chinese targets and airfields, and maybe even use the B-2s in Guam. The only US losses will be a few dozen aircraft, which I am 100% sure the US will choose over risking a nuclear exchange.

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    taijisheng is offline New Member
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    Re: The use of nuclear weapons in Taiwan war

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Head View Post

    Not so with Taiwan. If the PRC used nuclear weapons of any type against Taiwan, they would invite an exchange in kind, certainly from Taiwan if they (as some contend) have some weapons spirited away, and especially from the US who would view it as an unbelievable escalation against a nation (island) that an Act of the US Congress says the US will defend against agression.

    If the PRC uses nuclear weapons to try and start and end such a war quickly, they will only find that just as quickly the US responds in a similar fashion against PRC bases to prevent it...it escalates from there to a very, very bad place...particularly for the PRC IMHO. They will not play to such a strength as that which the US holds in this area.

    That is why the PRC is buil;ding up such a massive conventional force in the area.
    If I didn't know US better I would belive you. I don't belive the US will respond 'in kind' once China used nukes on the first day, if China used nukes on US fleet after it got invovled in the war then it's a different story, that's why the nukes need to be used on the first day, not later. I don't belive the US govenment want to enter a nuclear war when itself is not being targetted.

    The use of tactical nuclear weapons may sound bad, but it might be much better than other options which lead to uncertain possibilities, including an all out nuclear war.

    During the military exercise this year near Guam, the US flow over 200 aireplanes from other parts of the world to there within 24 hours, that means even when the entire Taiwanese airforce is destroied, the US could still protect the airspace of Taiwan if they wanted. The only way to prevent this is to attack Guam at the same time, destorying it's airport. So question is, which option is more likely to trigger a nuclear war, attacking US's Guam or nuke Taiwan ? I think the first.

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    taijisheng is offline New Member
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    Re: The use of nuclear weapons in Taiwan war

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Head View Post
    the US who would view it as an unbelievable escalation against a nation (island) that an Act of the US Congress says the US will defend against agression.
    Also the US government said recently that it doesn't view taiwan as a nation. The Taiwan Act is not a military treaty, it only says the US should help Taiwan to defend, it certainly doesn't give Taiwan the status as Japan has.

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    FriedRiceNSpice's Avatar
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    Re: The use of nuclear weapons in Taiwan war

    Quote Originally Posted by taijisheng View Post
    If I didn't know US better I would belive you. I don't belive the US will respond 'in kind' once China used nukes on the first day, if China used nukes on US fleet after it got invovled in the war then it's a different story, that's why the nukes need to be used on the first day, not later. I don't belive the US govenment want to enter a nuclear war when itself is not being targetted.

    The use of tactical nuclear weapons may sound bad, but it might be much better than other options which lead to uncertain possibilities, including an all out nuclear war.

    During the military exercise this year near Guam, the US flow over 200 aireplanes from other parts of the world to there within 24 hours, that means even when the entire Taiwanese airforce is destroied, the US could still protect the airspace of Taiwan if they wanted. The only way to prevent this is to attack Guam at the same time, destorying it's airport. So question is, which option is more likely to trigger a nuclear war, attacking US's Guam or nuke Taiwan ? I think the first.

    Dude I pretty much said much of the same things already.

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    Re: The use of nuclear weapons in Taiwan war

    There won't be a nuclear exchange over Taiwan. China's nuclear policy is resolutely "No first strike." Breaking that over Taiwan would result in terrible consequences for China. I don't subscribe to your assertion in your first post that it's only a a matter of when not if, yes China could turn Taiwan into a pile of pulverised granite at the bottom of the Pacific without using nukes, but where would that get them? In the event of a peaceful re-unification Taiwan will be a huge economic and strategic asset to China, that's a huge prize for China. The last thing they want is having to foot the bill for several billion dollars worth of war damage on Taiwan, which they would largely have caused. There is a significant amount of cross straits trade which is profitable for both sides so there's probably too much money at stake for both sides to lose in a war.

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    adeptitus is offline Senior Member
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    Re: The use of nuclear weapons in Taiwan war

    Wow, our admins must be away for the weekend for this thread to last this long.
    Last edited by adeptitus; 09-15-2007 at 10:15 PM.

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    Jeff Head's Avatar
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    Re: The use of nuclear weapons in Taiwan war

    Quote Originally Posted by FriedRiceNSpice View Post
    The US would not use nuclear weapons in any situation, they do not want to escalate the situation further.
    Quote Originally Posted by taijiseng
    If I didn't know US better I would belive you. I don't belive the US will respond 'in kind' once China used nukes on the first day, if China used nukes on US fleet after it got invovled in the war then it's a different story, that's why the nukes need to be used on the first day, not later. I don't belive the US govenment want to enter a nuclear war when itself is not being targetted.
    To you both, if the PRC or other nation used nuclear weapns on a US ally in an effort to either conquer or destroy them, killing hundreds of thousands or more, it is very likely, almost certain, that the US would respond in kind. Sorry, but such escalation and loss of life would not be ignored or responded to conventionally, nor could it be.

    If this threat were not hanging over the heads of those with nuclear weapons (on both sides) the absolute possibility of their use rises exponentially. I believe you are both underestimating the situation...and I believe (thankfully) that the PRC has no intention of testing such a dangerous and reckless scenario.

    ...and with that, I will leave off further comment because it is heading in the direction I indicated in my first response and I do not wish to be warned, or to see the thread pulled.

    BTW, Neutral Zone, I believe you are (at least I hope so) more on target. It does not mean there could not be armed conflict across the straits, just that it is less likely...and certainly would not be nuclear IMHO.
    Last edited by Jeff Head; 09-15-2007 at 10:35 PM.

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    Re: The use of nuclear weapons in Taiwan war

    what the heck? I can't even spend a night at the bar now.
    taijiseng, listen to Jeff, we don't have discussions like this, because whose bombs are bigger type of threads degenerates fast. pla would be stupid if it doesn't expect retaliation from US for a strike on Taiwan.

    Anyhow, i'm closing the thread.

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