The footage – originally created by a military comment channel on Xigua, China‘s equivalent of YouTube – calls for Japan to be bombed into submission if it sends ‘even one troop’ into Taiwan.
It was first posted online two weeks ago where it garnered millions of views before being taken down, but was then reposted by the official account of the CCP in Baoji, a major city in China’s northern province of Shaanxi.
It has now been removed from that channel too, but had remined up for several days garnering hundreds of thousands of views and mostly-supportive comments.
Chinese officials in the city of Baoji reposted a video created by military observers suggesting that Japan should be nuked into submission if it interferes militarily in Taiwan
It comes amid simmering tensions between China and Japan over Taiwan, a self-governing island off the Chinese coast which has never been ruled by the Communist Party.
The heat around Taiwan has turned up a notch after Beijing passed a draconian security law allowing it to crack down on dissent in Hong Kong, which also enjoyed a degree of autonomy, in June last year.
In response, an annual military white paper published by Japan last week said that possible attempts by China to ‘reunify’ Taiwan would be a top security threat to the country and may force Tokyo to act.
If Beijing seeks to assert more control over the island-state, then it would post an ‘existential threat’, the paper said – a careful choice of words as Japan’s pacifist constitution only allows leaders to engage in war in self-defence.
In the case of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, Japanese forces may have to join US troops in mounting a joint defence, deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso added.
The wording of the paper and Mr Aso’s comments prompted a furious response from Beijing, with Global Times newspaper editor Hu Xijin – a mouthpiece for the state – saying that Japan’s military will be ‘destroyed’ if it intervenes.
It comes after Japan last week identified Chinese attempts to assert control over self-governing Taiwan as a top threat to the country which could prompt a military response
Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, who has become known for his brash and outspoken manner, added: ‘Japan has for some time… leveled unreasonable accusations against China’s normal national defense construction and military activities, made irresponsible remarks about China’s legitimate maritime activities, and exaggerated the so-called China threat.’
Amid those tensions, Xigua channel Six Army Strategies – a military observer group not affiliated with actual Chinese military leadership – posted a video online proposing a new nuclear strategy towards Japan.
When China first developed nuclear weapons in 1964, it adopted a policy of ‘no first use’ – meaning the weapons could only be used in self-defence after China was attacked by an enemy also using nuclear weapons.
But the Six Army Strategies video proposed creating a ‘Japan exemption’ to that rule, meaning that Japan could be nuked even if it does not deploy atomic bombs first.
China has a ‘no first use’ policy which means it can only use nukes in self-defence, but the video argues and exception should be made for Japan
‘When we liberate Taiwan, if Japan dares intervene by force, even if it only sends one soldier, one plane or one ship, we will not only return fire, but also start a full-scale war against Japan,’ the commentary says.
‘We will use nuclear bombs. We will continue to use nuclear bombs until Japan offers its second unconditional surrender.’
Since Japan is the only country to have been nuked, such a deterrent would prove ‘doubly effective’, the video suggests.
‘This video is what many people of our country think,’ wrote one of the top-voted commentors before the video was deleted.
‘Good! I fully support this! The day of revenge is coming!’ said another,
A third added that China should instead fire conventional missiles at Japan’s nuclear reactors, allowing the resulting explosion to ‘take care of business.’