JUNE 3, 2021 7:46AM
The Chinese government’s mouthpiece newspaper has launched a blistering attack on the United States threatening it with a “high intensity showdown” possibly involving nuclear weapons.
Hu Xijin, the editor of the Chinese state-run newspaper the Global Times, said enhancing China’s nuclear program was now vital to the country’s “strategic deterrence” against the United States.
His comments came shortly after US President Joe Biden called for a further investigation into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.
We must be prepared for an intense showdown between China and the US,” Mr Hu wrote in an op-ed for the Global Times. “The number of China’s nuclear warheads must reach the quantity that makes US elites shiver should they entertain the idea of engaging in a military confrontation with China.”
Mr Hu – who once called Australia “gum stuck to China’s shoe” – doubled down on his war cry in a series of posts on the Weibo social media platform.
“Given the intensifying US strategic containment of China, I would like to remind once again that we have many urgent tasks, but one of the most important is to keep rapidly increasing the number of nuclear warheads and strategic missiles like the Dongfeng 41 with extremely long-range and high survival capabilities,” Mr Hu wrote in a post translated by Chinese human rights activist Jennifer Zeng.
“This is the cornerstone of China’s strategic resilience against the United States.
“We must be prepared for a high-intensity showdown between the US and China, at which point a large number of DF-41 and JL-2 and JL-3 will be the backbone of our strategic will. “Our nuclear missiles must be so numerous that the US elite will tremble at the thought of military confrontation with China at that time.
“On such a basis, we can calmly and actively manage our differences with the US and avoid all kinds of gunfire.
“As US hostility toward China continues to burn, we need to use our strength and the unbearable risks they would face if they took the risk to force them to remain calm.”
His comments come days after US President Biden ordered the US intelligence community to investigate whether the Covid-19 virus first emerged in China from an animal source or from a laboratory accident – stoking fury from China.
The move hints at growing impatience with waiting for a conclusive World Health Organisation (WHO) investigation into how the pandemic that has killed more than 3.5 million people worldwide began.
During an ongoing meeting of WHO member states, European Union countries and a range of others also pressed for clarity on the next steps in the organisation’s efforts to solve the mystery, seen as vital to averting future pandemics.
The WHO finally managed to send a team of independent, international experts to Wuhan in January, more than a year after Covid-19 first surfaced there in late 2019, to help probe the pandemic origins.
But in their long-delayed report published in late March, the international team and their Chinese counterparts drew no firm conclusions, instead ranking a number of hypotheses according to how likely they believed they were.