Taiwan is the spark of a potential war in the rivalry between the two superpowers the United States and China. Both powers possess nuclear weapons, so this is the most dangerous aspect of the rivalry.
The Biden administration has made statements that it will protect Taiwan in various ways if China intervenes militarily. Of course, it's easier said than done, but the risk is always there.
Forecasts and analyzes indicate that the issue of the conflict over Taiwan could turn into an all-out war between the United States and China, and one of the two powers may resort to the use of nuclear weapons based on the current situation.
Undoubtedly, the allure and danger of using nuclear weapons to try to win over the other side even in the event of a limited war is not out of the question.
In 1945 the Japanese were ready to negotiate and sit down for dialogue, but in return, the United States launched an atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to impose its conditions on Tokyo.
A new book has been released by the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, a Washington-based neoconservative organization, called Defending Taiwan.
Hal Brands (Professor of Global Affairs at Johns Hopkins School of International Studies) and Michael Beckley (Associate Professor of Political Science at Tufts University) jointly published an article excerpting from their book Defending Taiwan.
They noted that there is a possibility that nuclear weapons could precipitate a major war between the United States and China, even if such a war would lead to mutually assured destruction between the two sides.
The authors reported that when the war between China and America broke out, nuclear weapons could be used in at least one of three cases.
Case one: Whoever loses might be tempted to use tactical nuclear weapons to change the course of the war. In the event of a losing side, China is more likely to use nuclear weapons than the United States.
The second case: If the war and conflicts continue, it is possible for one of the parties to use nuclear weapons to end a devastating war of attrition. The conviction is likely that the first party who pulls the nuclear trigger can gain significant advantages as a powerful motivator.
In the third case: one of the two sides may resort to the use of nuclear weapons to limit the use of the other's nuclear options, considering that the escalation of the war constitutes great destruction.
There have been controversies and discussions in the past about nuclear retaliation between the United States and China.
In this regard, the dean of China's National Defense University in the People's Liberation Army, General hu Chenghu, told reporters in 2005: "China could retaliate using nuclear weapons if it was attacked by the United States in its possible conflict with Taiwan." By bringing its missiles and munitions into the Chinese attack range, I think that Beijing will have to respond with nuclear weapons.
On the issue of America's willingness to destroy many cities in the central Chinese regions, Chenghu said: "Certainly, if this happens, the Americans should also prepare for the destruction of hundreds of their regions."
General Chenghu indicated that he spoke according to his personal views, stressing that China and the United States would not go to war.
Other debates and controversies occurred in the mid-1990s. An interesting conversation took place between a Chinese general and the American diplomat "Charles Freeman" during a meeting between them.
In this context, U.S. diplomat Freeman said: "If China intervenes militarily in Taiwan, it will receive a military response from the United States."
The Chinese general replied: "You don't have the strategic leverage that you had in the 1950s when you threatened us with a nuclear attack, because then you could attack and we didn't have the ability to retaliate and retaliate, but now we can reciprocate and in the end, you care about Los Angeles more than Taiwan."
The Chinese general's statements sparked wide reactions in the American media and caused a short-term crisis between Washington and Beijing. However, the Chinese general's statements did not reflect the policy of the Beijing government.
Meanwhile, reports have been published in the United States claiming that China will triple its nuclear capacity by 2030. The growing distrust between the United States and China will lead to a nuclear arms race. China pledges that it will not be the first to use nuclear weapons, but America is skeptical of China's commitments.
Scottish historian Niall Ferguson noted in an article published on the American Bloomberg website in late July that the escalating tensions over Pelosi's plan to visit Taiwan have not been this high since 1996.
Ferguson added that China today is militarily stronger than it was in 1996. In that year, Beijing had no way to sink American aircraft carriers, and today it has missiles that enable it to do so. In 1996, the rattling of nuclear swords was a hoax, and today it is not.