The news that the People's Liberation Army will conduct live-fire military exercises in the Taiwan Straits on April 18 has shocked Taiwan. It is a clear warning against recent pro-independence activities on the island, especially head of Taiwan's administrative authority Lai Ching-te's advocacy for independence.
The Chinese mainland rarely conducts live-ammunition exercises in the Taiwan Straits, as we relish regional stability and view peace and cooperation as the mainstream of cross-Straits relations. However, the current administration of Taiwan, which still has not recognized the 1992 Consensus, continues with provocations against the one-China principle, thus pushing cross-Straits ties toward derailment.
A military exercise is only a mild warning. The mainland will put forward additional countermeasures if Lai continues with his secessionist moves. Cross-Straits peace can only be constructed on the basis of the one-China principle.
The Taiwan Straits is narrow and shallow, and Taiwan is close to the mainland, which means its economy won't sustain any deterioration of cross-Straits ties. The people in Taiwan will not allow the island's administration to sabotage peace and development and sacrifice their stable life for the extreme pursuit of "independence."
The mainland's anti-independence resolve is firm, while the Anti-secession Law reflects the will of the entire nation, which means any infringement of the one-China principle will result in a backlash.
Secessionists should not fantasize that the US will come to their rescue, even though the US had passed the Taiwan Travel Act. National unity is in the core interest of China, which is determined and capable of shattering any foreign intervention. Once Beijing decides to take action, it won't be stopped by any other force.
We believe that if the mainland were to take a military strike against "Taiwan-independence" forces, Washington would have no effective means other than protest.
The planned military drills will be a reconfirmation of Beijing's bottom line. Let the bombing and shooting drills alert Taiwan, rather than letting them actually occur on the island. The mainland does not wish to end the Taiwan question with a military showdown, however, how the situation develops depends on how much rationality remains in the Taiwan administration.
Lai's touting of "independence" is not an exercise in freedom of speech. As the second figure of the Taiwan authority, Lai has been poisoning the political atmosphere and reducing the public's vigilance against "Taiwan independence." While the Taiwan authority continues toward "independence," the mainland will certainly prepare actions that will bring greater deterrence.