OPINION / EDITORIAL
Pompeo may toll the knell for Taiwan authorities: Global Times editorial
Published: Jan 10, 2021 09:48 PM

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Photo: AFP



US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday announced the lifting of all "self-imposed restrictions" to regulate American "diplomats, servicemembers, and other officials' interactions" with their counterparts on the island of Taiwan. He said the restrictions were taken "in an attempt to appease the Communist regime in Beijing." "No more," he added, noting, "Executive branch agencies should consider all 'contact guidelines' regarding relations with Taiwan… to be null and void." The island of Taiwan immediately welcomed the statement. 

With just 10 days left before the US presidential transition, Pompeo is once again straining the China-US relationship and pushing the Taiwan question deeper down the road of no return. Such a move is tantamount to committing a crime to structurally damage peace in the Taiwan Straits and jeopardize China-US efforts to keep the bottom line stable. The dire consequences will be beyond anyone's predictions.

It is well known that the one-China principle is one of the cornerstones of today's world order. Most countries around the world have established diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China and abided by their promises to not develop official relations with the island of Taiwan. Imposing restrictions on contacts with Taiwan officials is part of international obligations the US should bear. If Washington arbitrarily removes these restrictions it had previously complied with, China-US relations will be totally redefined, and the two countries will move into hostility. The international basis and foundation for a peaceful resolution of the Taiwan question will collapse.   

There are only a few days left for Pompeo to dominate US diplomacy. His frenzied acts herald two uncertainties: First, what attitude will the Biden administration adopt? Will it invalidate the incumbent government's actions that stepped out of line? Second, will Pompeo and his whims become more unbridled and make further provocations? For instance, will Pompeo pay a surprise visit to Taiwan before he steps down to make the upgrade of official exchanges between the US and the Taiwan island an established fact?   

In order to push the incoming Biden administration to overthrow the decisions made in the incumbent government's last-ditch madness and prevent politicians such as Pompeo from taking actual actions to break the bottom line, China needs to clearly show its resolution to firmly oppose the US' extreme provocations and counter the US head-on.  

The US announced that its ambassador to the United Nations, Kelly Craft, will visit Taiwan this week. It cannot be ruled out that this is a test of Beijing's response by Pompeo's team. Beijing should send a strong signal to the US side, warning them to stop their provocations. Beijing should let the US and the Democratic Progressive Party authorities in the island of Taiwan know that if they dare to stage a Pompeo visit to Taiwan before the end of the US secretary of state's tenure, Beijing's strong counteractions will fall like an avalanche upon them. The Chinese People's Liberation Army fighters will fly over the island of Taiwan immediately, declaring Beijing's sovereignty over the island in an unprecedented way. If the US and the island of Taiwan dare to overreact, war will be sparked. China will punish the Taiwan authorities which cooperate with Pompeo's final show of madness.  

Beijing needs to send a stern warning to the Taiwan authorities that the days before January 20 are the last days of the current US administration. Those on the island of Taiwan must not take for granted that they can seek secession with the help of the last-ditch madness of an administration abandoned by the Americans. On the contrary, such madness is very likely to bring them annihilation. 

We believe if there is a showdown cross the Taiwan Straits, the international community will widely stand with China and its people. Because everyone knows that the Trump administration has lost itself and been acting wantonly in ways neither the international rules nor the US constitution allows. A large loophole has been exposed in the US political system, which has lost the ability to restrain their moves. 

In addition to the Biden camp, many Americans are worried that the current administration is so inept that it will resort to nuclear weapons. But if it goes to a sudden showdown on Taiwan, it will be the same as if a nuclear bomb is thrown into the peaceful world. As such, China must punish with the severest measures the individuals and forces that jeopardize peace. China's national sovereignty must be defended and humanity's basic rules and justice of interactions must be safeguarded. Those who infringe China on core interests will be doomed.
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