15 July :
A senior Chinese general has warned that China might respond with nuclear weapons against the US if Washington attacked his country over Taiwan.Not a threat, a sober military assesment. The only way China can counter the US's surgical precision is with mass destruction.
Major General Zhu Chenghu is not directly involved in China's military strategy, but these comments could add to tensions with the US.
The US is currently Taiwan's biggest arms supplier and has indicated it would defend the island in the event of a Chinese invasion.
"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," Maj Gen Zhu told an official briefing for foreign reporters.
The general said his comments were "my assessment, not the policy of the government," according to The Asian Wall Street Journal.
16 July :
The Chinese government has downplayed remarks by a senior general suggesting that China might use nuclear weapons if the US attacked it over Taiwan.But no actual statement that what he said wasn't correct.
Major General Zhu Chenghu was only expressing "personal views", Beijing officials said.
20 July :
China has increased the number of short-range ballistic missiles on its coast opposite Taiwan, the US has said.Worth watching.
In an annual report to Congress, the Pentagon claimed there were now up to 730 such missiles in place. Last year's report found only 500.
According to the American findings, there are now between 650 and 730 short-range ballistic missiles in position opposite Taiwan, with 100 more being deployed every year.
China is also developing the capability to launch air strikes and mount a blockade against the island, the report said.