Keeping an eye on Communist, Totalitarian China, and its influence both globally, and we as Canadians. I have come to the opinion that we are rarely privy to truth regarding the real goal, the agenda of Red China, and it's implications for Canada [and North America as a whole]. No more can we rely on our media as more and more information on China is actively being swept under the carpet - not for consumption.
Senior Chinese general has warned that his country could destroy hundreds of American cities with nuclear weapons if the two nations clashed over Taiwan.
Major general Zhu Chenghu, a dean at the National Defence University, said he was expressing a private opinion, but his comments, the most inflammatory by a senior government official in 10 years, will fuel growing concerns in Washington about the rise of China.
Speaking at a lecture arranged by the foreign ministry and attended by several foreign correspondents on Thursday, Mr Zhu said China was prepared to initiate non-conventional warfare over Taiwan. "War logic dictates that a weaker power needs to use maximum efforts to defeat a stronger rival," he was reported as saying by the New York Times.
"If the Americans draw their missiles and position-guided ammunition on to the target zone on China's territory, I think we will have to respond with nuclear weapons."
Echoing threats last made in 1995, Mr Zhu, who has a reputation as a hawk in Chinese military circles, said his country was ready to sustain heavy casualties in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and other heavily populated areas.
"We Chinese will prepare ourselves for the destruction of all of the cities east of Xian," he said. "Of course, the Americans will have to be prepared that hundreds of cities will be destroyed by the Chinese."
Although Mr Zhu said war was unlikely, his proposal that China should adopt a first-strike nuclear option against the US will alarm the Pentagon.
China tested its first atomic bomb in 1964, but it claims that its arsenal of nuclear weapons is the smallest among the five nations on the UN security council.
According to a recent article in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, China has only 18 intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to the US mainland. Most sit in their silos unarmed.
However, US intelligence predicts that over the next 15 years, China will expand its IBM force to 75-100 strategic nuclear warheads targeted primarily at the US. They will be mounted on a new mobile solid-fuel rocket, the Dong Feng-31, and, possibly, miniaturised for launch from China's submarine fleet.
The US defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, recently expressed concern about Beijing's growing military power. Such strategic fears come at a time of rising Sino-American tensions over the bilateral trade deficit and competition for global energy resources.
The Chinese government refused to comment on Mr Zhu's statement, but in recent weeks the state-run media has carried several articles rebutting US claims about a military build-up. Earlier this month, Major General Ding Jiye, head of the finance office of the People's Liberation Army, said the 12.6% rise in defence spending this year was in line with economic growth and was mainly used to improve the living conditions of soldiers.
The China Daily, the English-language paper aimed at an overseas audience, focused on the planned reduction of 200,000 military personnel from the 2.5 million-strong army by the end of this year.
Analysts say China has learned from the collapse of the Soviet Union that it would be economic suicide to attempt an arms race with the US.
But there are still risks of a clash over Taiwan, a self-governing island that China considers part of its territory and the US has vowed to protect.
The president of the European commission, José Manuel Barroso, urged his hosts yesterday to resume dialogue with Taiwan before 2008.
"This will also greatly advance China's international standing and reputation as a global player with a particular responsibility for peace and security in east Asia," said Mr Barroso, who was on his first official trip to China.