US scheme revealed, not to accept cross-Straits reunification: Global Times editorial
Published: Nov 05, 2021 08:51 PM
US, China, Taiwan island  Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

US, China, Taiwan island Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

US Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro said on Thursday that China is the US' "most significant pacing threat" and "China's intent to one day take over Taiwan, either peacefully or through military means, has a most serious impact on our economic security." Del Toro's remarks revealed that the US does not accept cross-Straits reunification at all, through whatever means. However, it is also the US which often puts on a disguise to claim that a solution to the Taiwan question requires mutual agreement from both sides of the Straits. 

Del Toro once again expressed his concern about the "rapid expansion" of the Chinese navy, saying that China constructed 20 warships and is on pace to build another 20 this year. He called for greater investments by the US in building up its own naval fleet. Apparently, Del Toro intends to seek more money for the US navy by hyping the "threat" from the Chinese navy. 

The Taiwan question has been promoted by Washington to an increasingly prominent position in US foreign policy, and the US is putting growing stakes on it. 

GOP senators introduced two bills this week, seeking to provide $2 billion to $3 billion in aid to Taiwan island per year to bolster the latter's defense. US foreign military aid is usually much smaller.

We need to make the US aware that no matter what threats it poses or forces it uses, China's reunification will eventually happen. Setting stumbling blocks to reunification across the Straits would mean a fundamental confrontation. 

China has no interest in plunging into a global arms race with the US. But in the Taiwan Straits, China's determination to establish absolute military superiority is unwavering. The region around the Taiwan Straits is just that big. No matter how many warships and military aircraft the US has, they cannot be fully transformed into combat capacity in the Taiwan Straits. However, the Chinese mainland can use sea and air forces, as well as land-based forces to fully mobilize China's technology and manufacturing capabilities. They can support the long-term military struggles across the Straits. China's ability to overwhelm US military intervention in this region is sufficiently guaranteed by its will and strategic resources.

The rhetoric, that Taiwan island could become strong enough to repel reunification if being armed by the US, is self-deceiving propaganda. But even if the US offers adequate defense, it will be to no avail. Washington should sober up to the fact: Although the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authority has a strong will to promote Taiwan independence, and the US also has a strong will to play the Taiwan card for a long time, the determination of the Chinese mainland to achieve reunification is much stronger. If they do not retreat, it will be even less likely for the Chinese mainland to take a step back. 

That being the case, how could this simply be a matter of US arms sales to Taiwan island, or a matter of providing more military assistance to the latter? Any move to block China's reunification is doomed to result in a life-and-death struggle, which the US will have to fight while sacrificing the lives of Americans. The struggle is definitely not something that can be resolved by pouring more money or imposing sanctions.  

The DPP authority has been paying very close attention to US statements to figure out whether the US' willingness to defend Taiwan increases. Such details will be meaningless when it comes to a fundamental showdown on the fate of the island. The reunification, be it through peaceful or military means, is up to the political attitudes of two sides across the Straits. The US will never dominate it. 

It is not known whether the two sides of the Straits will eventually be reunified peacefully. We hope it happens. There have been many precedents of peaceful reunification in Chinese history, although the weaker sides that accepted reunification were often forced to make the decision. But it is very clear that if the DPP authority wants to make a risky attempt to split Taiwan from the mainland with the help of external forces, they must first carve out their way with their own lives, and they will have to mobilize and coax as many young people on the island as possible to sacrifice for them. 

The DPP authority must give up any illusion on resisting reunification by using force, or "uniting the US to fight the mainland." Peace in the Taiwan Straits can only be achieved through political means. The DPP authority must return to the 1992 Consensus, and abandon the path as an anti-Chinese mainland outpost in the US' Indo-Pacific Strategy, as a political prerequisite to cool tensions across the Straits.

In the future, there will be no such possibility of Taiwan island separating from China peacefully. And the current situation across the Straits will hardly last. If the DPP authority does not change its course, and if the US keeps encouraging Taiwan authorities to go their own way, a military showdown will come eventually. When that day comes, let a knock-down, drag-out fight decide everything.