In a new provocation on the Taiwan question, just 12 days after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the Chinese island, a delegation of US lawmakers arrived in Taipei on Sunday for a two-day visit.
Their provocative move shows the United States is working hand in glove with the island's pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party authorities to raise tensions across the Taiwan Straits.
By signaling their support, the showboating US politicians are inciting radical separatists in and outside the DPP to go further in restricting the space for peaceful reunification. Their selfish political calculations and blatant violation of the one-China principle are quickly eroding the US' credibility in the international arena.
The fact that the visiting US politicians have been transported to Taiwan by US military planes makes any attempts by the US administration to justify or play down those provocative moves look pale and unconvincing. And it cannot deny that the frequent visits of US officials to the Chinese island have repeatedly broken the solemn promises the US has made to China on the Taiwan question.
Recognizing that there is but one China in the world and that Taiwan is part of China, the US promised not to engage in official exchanges with the Chinese island. All these principles are clearly enshrined in the three China-US joint communiques that have been the foundation for bilateral ties for more than 40 years.
The current US administration under Joe Biden has repeatedly said that the US' one-China policy has not changed, and the US does not support "Taiwan independence". But what the US has done, including the frequent high-profile officials' visits to Taiwan and colossal amount of arms sales to the island, all indicate the US, instead of showing sincerity in keeping its word on Taiwan, intends to slowly hollow out the one-China principle.
Some in the US may deem Taiwan to be China's Achilles' heel. Something that can be exploited to increase the US' strategic presence in the region and contain China's rise and development.
But that is miscalculating the situation and underestimating Beijing's resolve and capability to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity. China has taken a series of countermeasures in response to Pelosi's visit, including staging massive military drills surrounding Taiwan, which have been widely perceived as sending a strong warning to pro-independence forces on the island and their foreign colluders.
It is the US that has been constantly provoking China over the Taiwan question and Pelosi's visit has changed the status quo in the Taiwan Straits.
While the Chinese mainland will continue to do its utmost to strive for peaceful unification, it realizes that it is increasingly likely that reunification will need to be done by force if the escalation of tensions is unchecked.
Should that be the case, the US shoulders all the responsibility for making it necessary.