Bill allowing US-Taiwan port calls a trick: experts

By Yang Sheng Source:Global Times Published: 2017/12/14 23:03:40

China could activate Anti-Secession Law

A newly-signed defense policy bill, which includes port calls between the US and Taiwan navies, is a trick to increase its bargaining power with the Chinese mainland, Chinese experts said Thursday.

US President Donald Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) at the White House on Tuesday and released a statement on the bill that authorizes appropriations for the administration's national security programs for fiscal year 2018, according to the White House official website.

Several provisions in the bill call for strengthening of the defense partnership with Taiwan, including recommendations that Taiwan military forces be invited to participate in military exercises, such as the "Red Flag" exercises, Taiwan's Central News Agency reported.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said at Thursday's press conference that "Although the bill which involves Taiwan is not legally binding, it has seriously violated the one-China principle and the three China-US Joint Communiqués. China has lodged solemn representations with the US."

Lu reaffirmed China's opposition to any official exchange and military ties between the US and Taiwan, and he urged the US to deal with Taiwan based on the one-China principle and the three China-US Joint Communiqués to avoid harming Sino-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits.

"No US president is crazy enough to turn this into real action, and Trump merely wants to satisfy conservative and hawkish Republicans in Congress," said Chu Yin, an associate professor at the University of International Relations.

Trump wants to raise his bargaining power on China-US ties. So if China trusts Trump, it can express its opposition, and if China doesn't trust Trump, then it could respond with real actions, such as increasing military pressure on Taiwan or make some adjustments to the Korean Peninsula crisis, Chu added.

Domestic affairs

An Fengshan, spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said at a press conference that the Taiwan question is China's domestic affair.

"Any attempt to undermine the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity is bound to be opposed by the Chinese people and will not succeed," An said.

It is no surprise that the US is playing tricks on the Taiwan question, because Taiwan is a perfect hand to play when it wants to contain China or make a deal with China, said Song Zhongping, a military expert and TV commentator.

If the US sends a military force to Taiwan, it would likely activate Article 8 of China's Anti-Secession Law, which authorizes China to use non-peaceful measures to solve the Taiwan question, Song said.

"Without the Chinese government's permission, foreign forces' activity in Chinese territory, including Taiwan, will be regarded as an invasion or an attempt to separate China, and will force a military response from China. No one should underestimate China's determination and capabilities."

According to the website of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, Article 8 of the Anti-Secession Law states that "In the event that 'Taiwan independence' secessionist forces should act under any name or by any means to cause Taiwan's secession from China, or that major incidents entailing Taiwan's secession from China should occur, or that possibilities for a peaceful reunification are completely exhausted, the State shall employ non-peaceful means and other necessary measures to protect China's sovereignty and territorial integrity."

Posted in: DIPLOMACY

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