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Last Updated: Friday, 15 July, 2005, 09:47 GMT 10:47 UK
China general warns US on Taiwan
Two Taiwan Navy Knox-class frigates, June 21,2005.
The US is Taiwan's biggest arms supplier
A senior Chinese general has warned that China might respond with nuclear weapons against the US if Washington attacked his country over Taiwan.

Major General Zhu Chenghu is not directly involved in China's military strategy, but these comments could add to tensions with the US.

They come at a time when many US politicians are already concerned about China's military build-up.

Beijing considers Taiwan a renegade province of mainland China.

The US is currently Taiwan's biggest arms supplier and has indicated it would defend the island in the event of a Chinese invasion.

"If the Americans draw their missiles and position-guided ammunition onto the target zone on China's territory, I think we will have to respond with nuclear weapons," Maj Gen Zhu told an official briefing for foreign reporters.

The general said his comments were "my assessment, not the policy of the government," according to The Asian Wall Street Journal.

He added that he was confident the US and China would not go to war.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman told Reuters news agency the ministry was looking into the comments.

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