US' salami-slicing trick won't see China yield on Taiwan question
Published: Aug 09, 2021 11:47 AM
Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

The Biden administration has been gradually advancing ties with the island of Taiwan by using salami-slicing tactics. Some US scholars believe these tactics make sense. They also think that the Chinese mainland has used the military and diplomatic pressure to warn the US and Taiwan, and with China's so-called "suppression" of Hong Kong, there has been a "collapse of the credibility" in the "one country, two systems." These people believe Beijing should make a concession to "encourage" the US and Taiwan to change their positions.

These opinions are all biased and wrong. During the China-US high-level strategic dialogue in Alaska in March, the Chinese side said straightforwardly that China will not give in or make any compromises on affairs related to Hong Kong, Xinjiang, Taiwan and Tibet. The Taiwan question is related to China's territorial integrity, dignity and core interests. Those who expect the mainland to make a concession on the Taiwan question will find it nothing but wishful thinking.

By using the salami-slicing tactics on Taiwan question, Washington is trying to test Beijing's strategic focus and bottom line. Washington is also expecting Beijing to exchange some interests on the Taiwan question, or to change its position on other issues to satisfy the US' own strategic interests.

Those who hold the above-mentioned views have an overall misunderstanding of China's "one country, two systems." This is based on the goal of national reunification. Taiwan and Hong Kong secessionists are a major threat to "one country, two systems." We must eliminate these forces to go on the right path. It seems these US scholars believe China must accept these forces, otherwise it would be a damage to "one country, two systems." This is completely wrong. Such extreme forces, including terrorist activities, will be cracked down by China. 

Some believe that Beijing's so-called military and diplomatic pressure on Taiwan will only strengthen the US' support for the island, greatly adding to the risk of military conflicts. These people are attributing the possible conflict in the Taiwan Straits to the mainland. This is very irresponsible. On the Taiwan question, the US is an outsider. It has stretched its hands across the Pacific Ocean to expand its strategic interests to China's doorstep. China will never tolerate this.

When China's military power was not fully developed, these US moves formed much pressure on China. But now, China's national and military strength have greatly improved. Thus, the only choice for Washington is to stop its interference in the Taiwan question. Otherwise, the US will face a crushing defeat.

To maintain its strategy toward Taiwan, the US has to continue to invest to ensure the maintenance of its own advantage on the Taiwan question. This is unsustainable even for a powerful country like the US. In a sense, China has already achieved certain strategic advantage in the Western Pacific. The US' approach is bound to be hit head-on.

Some people in the US ignore the facts. They are engaged in political hype about the Taiwan question. Some US politicians have declared they "stand by Taiwan" and "protect Taiwan's freedom." However, those truly competent US politicians understand the cause and effect of the Taiwan question well. They can find a way for China and the US to get along well on the Taiwan question.  They also know that Washington has no right to interfere. While those so-called US scholars who blindly hype the Taiwan question only regard the island as a pawn. 

The US State Department on Thursday approved the Biden administration's first arms sales to Taiwan. Whether it's the Trump administration's extreme pressure on Taiwan question or the Biden administration's salami-slicing tactics, the US has been playing the "Taiwan card" to interfere with China's development. 

To keep its salami-slicing Taiwan tactics, Washington needs to invest more and more resource to maintain its already stretched existence on the island. 

With the development of China's aircraft carriers, Dongfeng ballistic missiles and other weapons and equipment, Beijing is fully equipped with the will and strength to defend its national sovereignty. The US will definitely not achieve its goals.

The author is a Taiwan studies expert at Nankai University in Tianjin. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn