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Subject: US vs China: nuclear war? - an impossibility
Iron Logician    1/17/2004 4:52:43 PM
A few reasons from a scientist point of view: 1) Regardless whether or not the US builds missile defense shield, China continues to build more missiles that carry neclear war head(s). China possesses more than half of the world's known rare earth mineral deposit containing both Lanthanide and Actinide Series (Pu and U in the latter). Mobile land and sub-based missiles will likely survive the first strike. It is unclear how many they have built (its first one was almost 40 years ago, then H-bomb, and neutron bombs) how many more they will build. China's economy if based on PPP (purchasing power parity) estimate is already many times bigger than ex-USSR. So it is safe to presume that it can at least easily make as many as ex-USSR in the coming years. 2) 10,000 nuclear explosions in China are NOT sufficient to vitrify the land owning to geological and geographical complications, eg, China has far more mountains than US. Theoretical calculation suggests that such vitrification process requires roughly 192,0000 explosions. However, the nuclear fall-out (ie, airborne radioactive particles) will drift acoss pacific ocean and deposit in the US mainland, destroying every live-stock on the way. Everyone knows why a balloon can drift from China to the US, not the other way around. 3) The most compelling reason, perhaps, is the fact that after the first strike, the remaining Chinese missiles will be launched towards all major US cities and industrial centers. Despite the missile defense shield, a certain % will pass, land, and explode. The impact of 9/11 was shocking to most in the world (eg, most Americans probably delayed their retirement for a few years!); one cannot imagine the impact of nuclear explosions. Western civilization values human life and prosperity far more than Eastern civilization, such an nuclear exchange will certainly result in the destruction of both civilizations or the return of the dark age for many years to come; nevertheless, the rich or haves have much more to lose than the poor or have-nots. The US or American people is highly unlikely to take such risk of a certain known outcome. Good life is just too important.
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Nanheyangrouchuan    RE:US vs China: nuclear war? - an impossibility   1/17/2004 8:53:31 PM
But China's population is becoming highly concentrated in a few cities. Most who can leave the rural areas are. Most of China's best industrial centers are also near the largest urban areas because that is where the skilled workforce is. China also has precious few reseviors. Take out those areas, along with the mouth of the Yangtze and Pearl Rivers, Chongqing and Xian along with their rail hubs and China is paralyzed. Despite Mao Zit Dumb's plans to spread the population around so it was impervious to US nukes, the US's population is more evenly dispersed and the countryside is more developed by 1000 fold.
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Zhang Fei    A US first strike vs China is extremely unlikely   1/17/2004 9:08:52 PM
But a second strike in response to a Chinese first strike is almost a certainty. Of course, it would depend entirely on the decision of the American president at the time that information about a Chinese nuclear strike is received. From a targeting standpoint, China is ideally-configured, with densely populated cities that contain most of China's industry and infrastructure. A nuclear strike against China could target 100 of China's largest cities with about 4 nukes apiece, as well as the headquarters of each Chinese Military Region. Hitting the 3 Gorges Dam would result in significant destruction all along the Yangtze River. The proliferation of hydroelectric dams all over China provides US nuclear forces with very attractive targets. Hitting Chinese nuclear reactors, which supply much of China's energy, would probably create havoc all across the country. As to the dangers of radioactive fallout after a retaliatory strike against China, note that this, too was a concern after the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. And yet, few even in Japan proper had any real issues with radioactivity - the part of the cities' population that was not directly exposed to radioactivity during the explosion itself survived with few medical complications. The rest of Japan encountered no problems, despite being within hundreds of miles of the explosions. The obliteration of Chinese cities and military facilities would probably leave about 400 million Chinese in rural areas alive - with a significant percentage of them composed of restive non-Han minorities whose loyalty to the Chinese state has always been tenuous. It is likely that they will seize this opportunity to revolt against their Han tormentors. This will present an opportunity for Mongolia to regain its ancestral lands, Tibet to declare independence, the Uighurs to secede from Han domination and North Korea to regain the lands in the Chinese Northeast that are traditionally Korean territory. For the first time in history, China will now be forcibly absorbed into its neighbors' population, instead of the other way around. Is China likely to risk it by carrying out a nuclear first strike against the US? That would depend on whether the Chinese government believes in the prospect of devastating American nuclear retaliation.* For all of our sakes, I hope we never have to find out. * Like the WWII Japanese, the Chinese government cares little about the welfare of its people - the Chinese decision will depend on whether the Chinese government will win more than it loses.
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Final Historian    RE:A US first strike vs China is extremely unlikely   1/18/2004 12:15:58 AM
What worries me is that China might decide that the US will not respond to a nuclear attack against a Carrier battle group in kind. They may think that the US wouldn't dare launch at China, figuring that we would back down rather than risk all out nuclear war. In such a situation the US almost couldn't back down, the long term damage would be too severe, and would jeapordize US security nearly as much as the alternative. But they may not realize that.
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InFuSeR    RE:A US first strike vs China is extremely unlikely   1/18/2004 12:34:54 AM
If the usa/china goes to a nuke war it will be end of the world as we know it even if each side only shoots 15-20 icbms each the ozone layer and the earths climate will change so much effection the whole world not just part of it.
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Zhang Fei    Both the ozone layer *and* climate change? How about locusts and plagues?   1/18/2004 12:56:15 AM
Let's see what's been left out - floods, earthquakes and landslides. The fact is that all of this is profoundly speculative - and computer models that project some of this stuff suffer from the biases of the Western scientists that cooked them up*. Besides, if computer models are so great at predicting things, it's interesting that we still rely on barometric readings to predict the next day's weather. Computer models can't even predict the next day's weather, let alone climate change after a nuclear war. * This bias tends to favor unilateral disarmament on the part of the West, based on the theory that the enemy wouldn't dare to use its nukes anyway, because of the potential for climate change. Right - pseudo-scientific theories cooked up by scientists (who should know better) will deter a bunch of Communist mass murderers.
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evlstu    RE:A US first strike vs China is extremely unlikely   1/18/2004 1:17:02 AM
And where do you get your info. supportting this view?
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evlstu    RE:A US first strike vs China is extremely unlikely   1/18/2004 1:19:23 AM
FH, Given the way that the Amwrican populace responded during the PRC's pres. last visit (Jiang J-something) you think that they would realize that Americans are used to standding up to thugs and bullys.
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Nanheyangrouchuan    RE:A US first strike vs China is extremely unlikely   1/18/2004 3:29:08 AM
The US wouldn't have to respond with nukes, just sink every ship and sub in the PLAN, including COSCO and Hutchinson Whampoa cargo ships. Kocking down every plane in the PLAAF could be thrown in for good measure.
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Communist_forever    RE:A US first strike vs China is extremely unlikely   1/18/2004 1:20:45 PM
"The US wouldn't have to respond with nukes, just sink every ship and sub in the PLAN, including COSCO and Hutchinson Whampoa cargo ships. Kocking down every plane in the PLAAF could be thrown in for good measure" ture, but u.s will suffer heavy lose as well, they might suffer more than China
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NewGuy    RE:A US first strike vs China is extremely unlikely   1/18/2004 1:33:39 PM
To Communist_forever: The PRC currently has < 100 delivery systems that can expect to survice and reach the continental US, while the US has over 4800 systems that can hit the more concentrated economic/infrastructure/population targets in the PRC. You do the math. NewGuy
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