At the end of the day, China is willing to use thermonuclear weapons to defend its thousand-year-old claims to the South China Sea. Who believes that the United States is willing to do the same? If not, the United States will have to back down and lose face in the final showdown over the South China Sea. Otherwise, everyone should get ready for World War III, global thermonuclear war.
Did everyone notice that the U.S. meekly said nothing as Russia invaded and annexed 20% of U.N. member Georgia's territory? The U.S. is bluffing. Its citizens enjoy incredibly high living standards and it is not willing to risk thermonuclear destruction for someone else's border dispute on the other side of the world.
That's the endgame and the choice is up to the United States. China's Red Line is immovable. China's claim is rock-solid and it will back it up with China's full thermonuclear military power.
Rankings of world nuclear (thermonuclear/hydrogen P-5 and atomic/fission) powers
Stunning, Frightening, Explosive and Destructive Power: Detonation of an 11-megaton Thermonuclear Bomb, March 26, 1954
Operation Castle, ROMEO Event
Bikini Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands
Rankings of world P-5 (i.e. Five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council) thermonuclear powers by megatons of firepower:
1. Russia - 1,273 megatons
2. United States - 570 megatons
3. China - 294 megatons (China has over half the nuclear firepower of the United States)
4. France - 55 megatons
5. Britain - 16 megatons
Humorous fact: A single Chinese DF-3A/CSS-2 IRBM or DF-4/CSS-3 ICBM with a 3.3 megaton warhead has over three times the destructive firepower in the entire Indian nuclear arsenal. In general, a thermonuclear warhead is roughly 100 times more powerful than an equivalent atomic warhead.
Russia: NTI: Russia - Nuclear Disarmament
United States: NTI: United States - Nuclear Disarmament
China: NTI: China - Nuclear Disarmament
France: NTI: France - Nuclear Disarmament
Britain: NTI: United Kingdom - Nuclear Disarmament
Rankings of atomic/fission bomb powers:
6. Israel: 1500-4000 kt (or 1.5 to 4 megatons)
7. India: 800 Kt ~ 1000 Kt. (or 0.8 to 1 megaton)
8. Pakistan: 600 kt - 1000 kt (or 0.6 to 1 megaton)
[note: 1,000 kilotons equal only 1 megaton]
Israel: NTI: Israel - Nuclear Disarmament
India: NTI: India - Nuclear Disarmament
Pakistan: NTI: Pakistan - Nuclear Disarmament
1967: THE FIRST CHINESE HYDROGEN BOMB exploded with 3.3 megatons of destructive power
No thread on China's nuclear weapons would be complete without the history-setting first thermonuclear explosion.
"On June 17 1967, China revealed its true military power.
At 00:19, a Chinese H-6 bomber dropped the first Chinese hydrogen bomb. It exploded with a force of 3.3 megatons. It marked the date when China entered the thermonuclear era."