Video apparently approved by Beijing threatens to attack Japan with nuclear weapon if it were to assist Taiwan
China is likely to use the threat of the use of nuclear weapons as leverage in its efforts to forcibly reunite Taiwan with the mainland, an opinion piece in the RealClear Defense online publication suggests.
This would mark a shift in China’s stated threshold for the use of its atomic arsenal, from a defensive policy of ‘no first use’ to one in which nuclear weapons could be utilized as a component in a wider hybrid warfare strategy, Adam Cabot writes.
The analysis piece follows the reposting of a nationalistic video by a Chinese Communist Party (CCP) committee, Taiwan News reported.
In the video, the narrator suggested that China would make use of its nuclear weapons against Japan if the US ally were to come to Taiwan’s assistance as China sought to “liberate” it.
Due to the level of control held over the Chinese media by the CCP, and the reposting of the video, it is likely the message was a clear threat toward Japan not to intervene in any future tensions between Beijing and its “rogue province,” Cabot wrote.
Hybrid warfare is a complex form of foreign policy intended to coerce an opponent state into submitting while remaining below the threshold of conventional war. It can involve propaganda, cyber-attacks, embargoes, and withholding of key resources like energy.
Cabot points out that Russia invaded and annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 using hybrid warfare techniquesbecause the country was insufficiently deterred by the response it believed it would receive.
If a similar outcome is to be avoided in Taiwan, the US and its allies must beef up their deterrence factor toward China so that the cost of any aggressive action would be greater than the reward, Cabot warned.