DPP secessionists ‘deceive themselves’ with new passport

By Wang Qi Source: Global Times Published: 2020/9/2 20:12:17 Last Updated: 2020/9/2 20:50:57

Taiwan Photo: Unsplash

With growing tensions and the specter of a military conflict looming over the Taiwan Straits, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)-dominated Taiwan island unveiled a new version of its passport, marked by further de-sinicization. Experts from the Chinese mainland and Taiwan believe the DPP's "political smuggling" is pushing the island toward the brink of a military conflict.

Taiwan's executive authority unveiled the new passport on Wednesday, which highlighted "Taiwan" on the cover, while the term "Republic of China" was minimized, fitting into a concentric circle that encloses the "national emblem."

The DPP authority claimed that the COVID-19 pandemic is the reason for the revision, saying many residents from Taiwan felt inconvenienced while traveling, as their passport was mistaken for the mainland's. The rhetoric is similar to the one 17 years ago, when the Chen Shui-bian-led DPP authority in 2003 added "Taiwan" to the passport cover for the first time.

The fact that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China will not change no matter what tricks the DPP plays, Hua Chunying, spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said in a briefing Wednesday.

In July, the legislative body of Taiwan passed a proposal drafted by secessionists, to emphasize "Taiwan" over "China" on both China Airlines and the passport. Chinese experts from the mainland and Taiwan consider the move politically provocative, which pushes "Taiwan secessionism." 

Chang Ya-chung, a Taipei-based professor, told the Global Times on Wednesday that the DPP authority cannot and dares not claim "de jure Taiwan independence," and only promotes secessionism through various moves.

Backed by the US, the DPP authority continues to challenge the mainland's bottom line. Chang said the Tsai Ing-wen authority does not have the ability to "say no" to US. And she will do whatever the Trump administration asks her to do. 

The Tsai Ing-wen authority got in hot water after recently allowing Ractopamine-enhanced pork from the US, after US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar visited Taiwan. Ractopamine is an additive for pork that enhances leanness, but is unhealthy for human beings. 

"The US is the chess player, and Tsai is a chess piece," Chang said, noting that in the next three years, cross-Straits relations will only get worse. 

The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) recently conducted a military exercise in the South China Sea and launched multiple anti-ship ballistic missiles. In late August, the PLA conducted four concentrated military drills across three major Chinese sea regions, following a recent announcement of consecutive, realistic drills in the Taiwan Straits and at its north and south ends aimed at deterring Taiwan secessionists and the US.

Former Taiwan regional leader Ma Ying-jeou said in a speech on August 10 that if the Chinese mainland decides to reunify the island by force, "the first battle is the last battle," and the US military will not come to the island's rescue, nor will there be time for it to do so. 

Some observers do not believe that the change in passport cover will impact the international travel of Taiwan residents, and the so-called "convenience" is just self-deception and self-entertainment of Taiwan authorities.

Zhang Wensheng, deputy dean of the Taiwan Research Institute at Xiamen University, told the Global Times on Wednesday that for governments and people of countries adhering to the one-China principle, it is natural to regard Taiwan residents as Chinese, no matter how their passport is changed. And this is the reality that cannot be shaken by Taiwan secessionists. 

The DPP has only satisfied the fantasy of some Taiwan secessionists by changing the passport cover, said Zhang, noting the move will aggravate cross-Straits tensions, increasing the possibility of a military conflict, which won't benefit people on the island, including secessionists. 

Owen Hsieh, a Taiwan resident, told the Global Times on Wednesday that many DPP supporters are indifferent to the overall environment, only basking in the DPP's "breakthrough," but he feels insecure.

"The possibility of a civil war is increasing… My family and I have seriously considered moving assets out of Taiwan," Hsieh said.


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