Mainland decides war or peace across Taiwan Straits: Global Times editorial
Published: Nov 02, 2021 09:50 PM
Two J-10 fighter jets attached to an aviation brigade of the air force under the PLA Southern Theater Command soar into the air in formation during a combat flight training mission on November 17, 2020. Photo: eng.chinamil.com.cn

Two J-10 fighter jets attached to an aviation brigade of the air force under the PLA Southern Theater Command soar into the air in formation during a combat flight training mission on November 17, 2020. Photo: eng.chinamil.com.cn

The situation across the Taiwan Straits is tense. As it is a complex interaction among three sides of China and the US, plus the island of Taiwan, uncertainties are prominent and misjudgment is more likely to occur. As a result, it has attracted increasing attention and speculation.

Whether a cross-Straits war is approaching or if some of the three sides' remarks and actions are related to war preparations, people's speculation and discussion are increasing. This applies to the Chinese mainland, as well as the island of Taiwan and the US. 

On the one hand, Chinese mainland authorities have increasingly warned the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authority. On the other hand, they still hold high the banner of peaceful reunification. Yet the voice of the people in the Chinese mainland calling for a war has become louder. The view of the US military and think tanks predicting that the PLA will launch military operation against Taiwan in the next few years has been repeatedly heard. The practices of Taiwan's DPP authority have been extremely flustered and contradictory. At one point, it said it will "fight to the end," and at another, it said nothing will happen during Tsai's term.

A fundamental danger is that the political conflicts across the Taiwan Straits are intensifying with no sign of easing. The DPP authority is opposed to reunification and is seeking "independence." The strategic hostility of the US toward the Chinese mainland continues to rise. No matter how to evaluate a war, predictions that a war will eventually occur due to irreconcilable political conflicts or miscalculation are growing among the three sides.

For Taiwan and the US, the most important thing is to remain sober and rational. Don't lead themselves into a political misunderstanding or even a dead end because of their bravado and short-term operations.

The DPP authority will never be able to withstand war, nor will people of Taiwan "fight to the end" with them, and they are very clear about this. They have acted arrogantly because they have been seeking near-term political interests. They are also betting that the mainland will not use force against Taiwan considering the country's overall development and strategic considerations. However, the end of their secessionist path will definitely be war. They have walked a tightrope near the red line drawn by the mainland, showing their recklessness. But they have been walking in fear.

The US wants to use the Taiwan question to contain China's rise as much as possible. But by doing so, the boundary of their interests is that they cannot trigger a war across the Taiwan Straits, involving themselves in a life-and-death struggle with the Chinese mainland. In the past, they performed wantonly inside a wide safe range. But as the situation in the Taiwan Straits escalates, they are worried that they are getting closer to the center of the war storm which they cannot escape from.

The most important thing for the Chinese mainland is to maintain its strategic focus, adhere to our principles and the pace of advancing the goal of reunification, and accurately determine the reunification method and timing which is most conductive to China's overall national interests. We should not be disturbed by the complex signals and performances of Taiwan and the US.

This is because the Chinese mainland's strength in dealing with the Taiwan question is increasing rapidly and the Chinese mainland has the strategic initiative and ultimate decision on how to solve the Taiwan question. The ultimate decision of whether to wage a cross-Straits war, what the scale of the war will be, and how and when to fight is in our hands. The DPP authority has repeatedly provoked, but their ultimate goal is to avoid war. Their short-term maneuvers are aimed at sustaining their regime, to consolidate domestic support and to mobilize international pressure on the Chinese mainland to increase protection for Taiwan.

The purpose of the US' various acts is to enhance the strategic effectiveness of its "Taiwan card." For this reason, it has to play the card hard while preventing the card from becoming its own trap. The stronger the Chinese mainland's military pressure is, the more the US should turn to public opinion and a diplomatic struggle, and avoid confronting the Chinese mainland militarily in the Taiwan Straits.

Tensions in the Taiwan Straits will create many factors for misjudgment. But because the mainland is proactive and confident, it should be more capable to see the whole picture than Taiwan and the US. The DPP authority is the most anxious. The US will worry more about its gains and losses, and the Chinese mainland can completely act according to its own interests. What we need to do is to trust the government and the Communist Party of China Central Committee. We will not hastily start a war. But once the situation reaches that point, we will definitely win the battle.