OPINIONS Washington's toxic Taiwan stunt


Washington's toxic Taiwan stunt

By Gao Wencheng | Xinhua

11:00, November 21, 2020

File photo: Xinhua

BEIJING, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) -- Washington is once again playing the Taiwan card against China. This time the ruse is the so-called "Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue" held between U.S. Under Secretary of State Keith Krach and economic officials from Taiwan on Friday.

The event, under the guise of so-called economic exchanges, is in its nature Washington's latest political stunt regarding the status of Taiwan, which carries the highest level of sensitivity in China-U.S. relations.

The official contact between the United States and Taiwan comes against the backdrop of Washington's rising anti-China hysteria. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo earlier this month preposterously claimed that Taiwan "has not been a part of China," openly challenging Beijing's red line of the one-China principle.

By taking these provocative actions, Pompeo and other like-minded U.S. politicians are seeking to get tough on China for personal political gains. Their long-term goal is to try to leverage Taiwan to disrupt China's reunification efforts and impede the country's development.

In the eyes of China hawks, Taiwan is merely a geopolitical pawn to pressure China. Many in Taiwan are fretting about being a bargaining chip in Washington's game. Taipei-based United Daily News commented in a recent editorial that taking advantage of the pawn to provoke Beijing is "mainly based on U.S. interests."

However, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authority in Taiwan, also driven by selfish political interests, continues to collude with foreign forces and brag about so-called breakthroughs of the island's relations with the wider world. What's worse, the DPP still refuses to acknowledge the 1992 Consensus and is keen on fanning separatist sentiments on the island.

Political provocations by Washington politicians and the DPP authority are highly destructive.

On the one hand, playing the Taiwan card is toxic to China-U.S. relations. Adherence to the one-China principle has been the political foundation for the development of China-U.S. ties since the two countries normalized their relations more than four decades ago.

China has repeatedly made it clear that it believes Beijing and Washington stand to gain from cooperation and lose from confrontation, and urged the U.S. side to manage differences based on mutual respect, expand mutually beneficially cooperation and promote a healthy and steady development of bilateral ties. Also, the international community, which is struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic and restoring global economic growth, needs a stable and sound relationship between the world's top two economies like never before.

Yet if anti-China U.S. politicians continue to recklessly weaken this foundation, all are poised to lose in Washington's geopolitical manoeuvers.

On the other hand, playing the Taiwan card is toxic to cross-Strait peace and stability. These official exchanges between the United States and Taiwan have dangerously emboldened separatist forces on the island, risking pushing the region into a destructive confrontation. And if the tensions in the region spiral out of control, the Taiwanese will bear the brunt.

Furthermore, Taiwan's ambitions to reap any substantial benefit in the dialogue will only fail. In fact, a major factor deciding Taiwan's future and the well-being of its people lies not in the support of the United States but in the state of cross-Strait relations.

Taiwan's exports to the mainland and Hong Kong accounted for 43.6 percent of the island's total exports from January to October, according to data from the island. The number has demonstrated Taiwan's strong reliance on the cross-Strait economic and trade cooperation.

Ultimately, America's China hawks should never underestimate Beijing's rock-solid determination to safeguard its national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

"China will never sit idly by and allow its national sovereignty, security and development interests to be undermined, and will never allow any individual or force to impair or divide this sacred territory," Chinese President Xi Jinping told a meeting in October to commemorate the War to Resist U.S. Aggression and Aid Korea.

Taiwan has been and will always be a part of China. That is a fact no one can alter. Challenging that irrefutable fact and testing the Chinese people's will to safeguard their country's sovereign rights will result in a forceful response.

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