The commander of the United States Pacific Fleet said Thursday that he would launch a nuclear strike on China if President Donald Trump ordered it.

Philippines South China Sea

Admiral Scott Swift said ‘Yes’, responding to a hypothetical question at a security conference at the Australian National University.

“Every member of the US military has sworn an oath to defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic and to obey the officers and the president of the United States as commander and chief appointed over us,” Swift said.

The US Pacific Fleet is one of the two main strategic forces of the US Navy. It operates in the Pacific and Indian oceans. The fleet encompasses three nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, 24 nuclear submarines and several dozen guided missile destroyers.

Commenting on Swift’s words, Vladimir Kozin, a Russian military expert and professor at the Academy of Military Sciences, noted that such statements are based on the nuclear strategy of the United States.