Teach the US, Taiwan island a real lesson if they call for it: Global Times editorial
Published: Sep 12, 2021 10:26 PM Updated: Sep 12, 2021 10:58 PM
Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

According to British newspaper the Financial Times on Saturday, Washington is seriously considering a request from the island of Taiwan to change the name of its mission in the US capital from "Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office" to "Taiwan Representative Office." It is also reported that White House Asia adviser Kurt Campbell has backed the request. Washington is assessing the risks such a change would bring. The report has caused strong repercussions in the island, but neither the US government nor the Taiwan authorities have commented on the report. 

Reports also said senior "national security" officials from the US and the island of Taiwan held face-to-face talks on Friday in Annapolis, Maryland, which is less than an hour's drive from Washington DC. The two pieces of news were revealed immediately following reports about a phone conversation between the Chinese and the US heads of state. 

It must be pointed out that if the US and the island of Taiwan do make the name change, it will mean Washington's basic abandonment of its "one-China policy," which will constitute a significant change surrounding the Taiwan question. Lithuania previously said it would set up an office in the Taiwan island with the name "Taiwan Representative Office" and the island also announced its plan to set up an office in Lithuania using the same name. This has met strong resistance from the Chinese mainland. If the US does the same, without doubt it will have a widespread demonstration effect on its allies and bring about a wave of name changes of the island's mission in these countries. 

The US knows well it's a significant and serious matter. It is leaking certain information to test the Chinese mainland's response. But, is there really anything to test? The Chinese mainland has no other choice but take the challenge and prepare for a showdown with the US if it pushes the matter to the tipping point of a showdown. Should the US rename the island's mission in Washington as "Taiwan Representative Office," the Chinese mainland should respond to it in a punitive way no lighter than it did with Lithuania. At that time, it's anticipated that China will recall its ambassador to the US and it is likely the "lowest diplomatic reaction." Otherwise, China cannot set up its prestige on the one-China principle it has always been upholding. 

Due to US incitement and instigation, some Western countries are itching to play the "Taiwan card." Punishing only small countries while ignoring the major powers won't work. Safeguarding the bottom line of the one-China principle means we have to deter the US attempt to cross the line. Otherwise, we will have to face the possibility of more "Taiwan Representative Offices" emerging in a batch of capital cities. 

Diplomatic measures alone are obviously not enough. If the US and the Taiwan island change the names, they are suspected of touching the red line of China's Anti-Secession Law, and the Chinese mainland will have to take severe economic and military measures to combat the arrogance of the US and the island of Taiwan. At that time, the mainland should impose severe economic sanctions on the island and even carry out an economic blockade on the island, depending on the circumstances. 

Militarily, Chinese mainland's fighter jets should fly over the island of Taiwan and place the island's airspace into the patrol area of the PLA. This is a step that the mainland must take sooner or later. The name change provides the Chinese mainland with sufficient reason to strengthen our sovereign claim over the island of Taiwan. It is anticipated that the Taiwan army will not dare to stop the PLA fighter jets from flying over the island. If the Taiwan side dares open fire, the Chinese mainland will not hesitate to give "Taiwan independence" forces a decisive and destructive blow.

More importantly, if the Chinese mainland turns a blind eye to the US and the Taiwan island this time, they will definitely go further in the next step. According to reports, Joseph Wu, leader of the external affairs of the Taiwan island, participated in the talks between senior security officials from the US and the island in Annapolis on Friday. Next time, they may publicly hold the meeting even in the US State Department in Washington DC. As the US will hold the "Summit for Democracy" by the end of this year, if we do not contain the insolence of the US and the Taiwan island, Washington might even really invite Tsai Ing-wen to participate in the summit. It will be much worse in nature than former Taiwan regional leader Lee Teng-hui's visit to the US as an "alumnus" in 1995.

Will peace come if the Chinese mainland puts up with all this and swallows its anger for the sake of peace? If the mainland doesn't strike back decisively, US warships will dock at the island of Taiwan, its fighter aircraft will land on the island and its troops may be stationed in the island again. At that time, where will be China's prestige as a great power? How can the country maintain its system of defending its interests on the international stage?

The fact is that a contest of will has been formed regarding the Taiwan question Since China has declared that the Taiwan question is a matter of our core interests, we must take resolute actions to protect the bottom line of this exact national interest at any cost. If the Democratic Progress Party authority really dares to take the risk of triggering a war to push for a name change, and the US, which just suffered a debacle in Afghanistan, is not afraid of being involved in a new war, then what is there for the mainland to be scared of?

It seems that sooner or later, the Taiwan Straits will be plunged into a storm that will change the situation there drastically. And judging from the current actions of the US and the island of Taiwan, we can be sure that even if they will have to take this step back, they will step forth again soon. Thus, right now we need to be fully prepared to blow them out of the water in the Taiwan Straits.

The US has been engaging in phrase mongering, hoping that the "competition" between China and the US will not evolve into a "conflict." We have to tell them clearly with our actions that "competition" with the Chinese mainland on the Taiwan question is bound to turn into a serious conflict, and there is absolutely no room for maneuver.