Trump govt’s final crazy moves over Taiwan will meet consequences

By Li Haidong Source: Global Times Published: 2020/11/23 22:16:07

US President Donald Trump Photo: AFP

A two-star Navy admiral overseeing US military intelligence in the Asia-Pacific region made an unannounced visit to the island of Taiwan on Sunday afternoon, according to Reuters and Taiwan media. There has been no direct response from Taiwan authorities or the Pentagon yet. 

Despite the absence of an official confirmation, the visit is real considering how the "source reporting" of the US media usually turns out to be true, and based on US political culture. It is also most likely that the visit was "arranged" to be revealed through the media, not the government.

The Navy admiral, who Reuters identified as Michael Studeman, is director of the J2, which oversees intelligence at the US military's Indo-Pacific Command. This high-level visit of a US military intelligence official reflects the Trump administration's view that Taiwan "has not been a part of China." Pompeo just made such a statement publicly, and now is followed by a US Naval intelligence official's visit to Taiwan. It shows that the coordination between departments of the Trump Administration is very tight, and the goal is to use such verbal attacks and practical actions to stop China's cause of national reunification.

This is the latest and upgraded move of Trump in his last two months as president over the Taiwan question, and predictably, it will not be the last.

Some foreign media revealed that the Trump administration and Taiwan have been engaged in secret and closed military intelligence exchanges. The US should know that China has also seen through all the small tricks between the two. After all the undercover exchanges, why was this two-star Navy admiral's visit exposed at this time during intense tensions between China and the US over Taiwan-related issues? The timing is noteworthy.

It seems that the US has been aware that China's actions on national reunification are proceeding step by step, and the progress is accelerating. The US is unwilling to see China reunify Taiwan because this is not in line with US interests. When Washington understands that there is a real possibility for the mainland to reunify Taiwan, it hastily interferes in the progress.

In terms of the Taiwan question, the Trump administration has long abandoned the traditional strategic ambiguity, going further on the path of publicly supporting Taiwan secessionist forces. When it comes to strengthening ties with Taiwan in all aspects, the Trump administration has gone beyond the limits of soft security, acting more wantonly on hard security.

Different from US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and cabinet-level head of the US Environmental Protection Agency Andrew Wheeler's visits to Taiwan, Studeman's visit will substantially deepen the tensions and confrontation in the Taiwan Straits. Such tensions are dangerous. China has been aware that Trump will make his final crazy moves to disrupt the situation in the Taiwan Straits, and China has been calmly assessing the situation. 

China will take action when the tensions escalate to a certain level to let the US understand the danger. If we only take actions that do not hurt at all, then the US will not realize the seriousness of the Trump administration's hooliganism on the Taiwan question. China will force the next US administration to make significant adjustments.

The US cannot expect that it can escape unscathed after creating contradictions in the Taiwan Straits. DPP authorities should not expect that they will not pay any price after colluding with the Americans.

The author is professor at the Institute of International Relations of the China Foreign Affairs University.

Posted in: VIEWPOINT

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