Chinese dissident Wei Jingsheng warns of Beijing’s nuclear threat (courtesy: Epoch Times)

A leading Chinese dissident warns the United States has not paid enough attention to a growing threat of nuclear war with China.

Wei Jingsheng, who spent 18 years in detention for his pro-democracy activism, told a forum at the National Press Club in Washington that China needs the distraction of a war with Taiwan to turn attention away from the people’s frustration with rampant corruption and failed policies at home, reported the Epoch Times, an independent news service that focuses on China.

China expert panelists at the forum discussed the implications of the upcoming U.S. visit of Chinese leader Hu Jintao. Hu was scheduled to make his first official visit to the White House last Wednesday but President Bush canceled the visit so he could focus on responding to Hurricane Katrina.

The two are expected to meet sometime this week in conjunction with the U.N. summit, which begins Wednesday.

Wei said a number of factors are prompting Beijing to consider conventional warfare against Taiwan and even nuclear warfare against the U.S.

He pointed out a treaty with Russia, a traditional enemy, stipulates that if China invades Taiwan, Moscow will not support the U.S. in its defense of the island.

As WorldNetDaily reported, China also has conducted joint military exercises with Russia on the Shandong Peninsula, an area not far from Taiwan.

The exercises in August were to include launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles, though officials maintain the maneuvers were efforts to deal with international terrorism.

Wei said the Chinese Communist Party is considering nuclear war, because it is not afraid to sacrifice China’s people.

He cited Chinese general Zhu Chenghu’s recent public declaration that China would launch nuclear weapons if attacked by the U.S. and that “we … will prepare ourselves for the destruction of all the cities east of Xian,” which would include Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

The dissident warned Americans not to underestimate the irrational behavior of the communist leadership.

America’s best response to prevent a coming war is to begin taking the possibility seriously, noting Chinese leaders try to appear to the world as non-threatening as they plan their next move.

Some panelists said the Communist Party fears for its future, pointing out the recent resignation of 4 million party members.

The Epoch Times said its nine-part editorial series on the party, published last November, is partly responsible for the mass resignations.

Some panelists tried to dispel the image of China as an emerging nation contributing to peace and prosperity in the world.

Dr. John Li, senior research fellow at the Association for Asian Research, said the U.S. enjoys an “equilibrium” status with China that gives Americans cheap labor while the totalitarian state gets investment dollars and the assurance of “no regime change.”

But the U.S. cannot avoid the fact the Chinese have “never wavered in their belief that America is their No. 1 enemy,” Li said.

The scholar believes the U.S. should distinguish its true friends from its foes and treat China as an adversary with a regime that opposes American values.

America is sleeping, dreaming images of a pleasant, peaceful China, all the panelists agreed.

Panelist Frank Gong said the Communist Party knows that if it allows political liberty and freedom of speech, its past crimes – including an estimated 80 million dead – will be exposed, and the party will face “immediate collapse.”


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