Don't Mess With Us

There's never a good moment for nuclear threats, but a Chinese general's assertion last week that his country should strike American cities with nuclear missiles if the U.S. came to the aid of Taiwan in a war with the mainland seemed particularly ill-timed. Beijing's relations with Washington have deteriorated in recent months over trade frictions, fears of a Chinese military buildup, and concerns that a bid by Chinese oil company CNOOC to buy U.S. energy firm Unocal threatens national security. So it came as a shock when People's Liberation Army (P.L.A.) Major General Zhu Chenghu, 53, told a group of foreign...

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