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According to international law, when is first-use nuclear strike justified?

https://www.cnn.com/2021/05/24/china/us-china-taiwan-1958-nuclear-intl-hnk/index.html

Hong Kong (CNN) — Military planners in Washington pushed for the White
House to prepare plans to use nuclear weapons against mainland China
during the Taiwan Strait crisis in 1958, newly leaked documents appear
to confirm.

The documents, first reported on by the New York Times Saturday,
reveal the extent of Washington's discussions about using nuclear
weapons to deter a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, including the
acceptance by some US military leaders of possible retaliatory nuclear
strikes on US bases.

The U.S. was willing to use nuclear weapons against China to deter and not in response to an invasion, but this strikes me as weird because you would think there are international laws that would prevent such a rash action. Am I wrong? Do we have new laws that would deter such an action?

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