Taking a dip at Nanwan beach, with Taiwan's Tai Power No. 3 nuclear power station looming above. Photo: Reuters
Kyle Mizokami, National Interest: China's Greatest Nightmare: Taiwan Armed with Nuclear Weapons
It would have been one of the greatest crises of postwar Asia: the revelation of a Taiwanese atomic bomb. For Taiwan, the bomb would have evened the odds against a numerically superior foe. For China, a bomb would have been casus belli, justification for an attack on the island country it considered a rogue province. Active from the 1960s to the 1980s, Taipei’s efforts to develop nuclear weapons were finally abandoned due to diplomatic pressure by its most important ally, the United States.
Taiwan’s nuclear program goes back to 1964, when the People’s Republic of China tested its first nuclear device. The test was not exactly a surprise to outside observers, but it was still Taiwan’s nightmare come true. Chinese and Taiwanese air and naval forces occasionally skirmished, and it threatened to turn into all-out war. Suddenly Taipei was confronted with the possibility that such a war could turn nuclear. Even just one nuclear device detonated on an island the size of Maryland would have devastating consequences for the civilian population.
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WNU Editor: Not going to happen .... ignoring the military escalation and its ramifications .... the economic sanctions that would be imposed would be more than enough to devastate Taiwan's export oriented economy.