Note to Sullivan: You are dragging US down by talking big: Global Times editorial
Published: Dec 09, 2021 12:35 AM
US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan Photo: AFP

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan Photo: AFP

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said on Tuesday, "from the point of view of both deterrence and diplomacy," the US is going to take every action it can to make sure that the reunification of the Chinese mainland with the island of Taiwan by force "never happens." He made these remarks when responding to a question whether the US is prepared to deal with the situation in the Taiwan Straits and in Ukraine. Sullivan also mentioned that the US' "efforts" during the past eight months in the Indo-Pacific region were to avoid "any kind of scenario where China chooses to invade."

Recently, US senior officials have repeatedly shown their tough yet empty attitude on the situation in the Taiwan Straits. On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken also accused China of attempting to "reshape not only its own territory but also the global system to its benefit." Again, Blinken threatened that "if Beijing were to decide to try to change the status quo unilaterally by force, it would be a very serious mistake."

Sullivan blustered to ensure that China's reunification by force "never happens," which is particularly alarming. This is the biggest boast made by a senior US official so far. Almost no one would believe Sullivan's impromptu to a reporter would become a manifesto of US policy. This is because the US simply cannot build a deterrent to prevent the Chinese mainland from carrying out reunification by force when necessary. No one would believe the US has the true will to defend Taiwan at all costs, which goes against China's military growth and its resolution in reunification.

So far, the official attitude of Washington is to encourage the Taiwan authority to build up self-defense capabilities. The US mainly provides military support to Taiwan by selling weapons. Those weapons are generally destined to be destroyed by the People's Liberation Army (PLA) as soon as the reunification by force takes place. It is credible that the PLA will heavily attack US troops who come to Taiwan's rescue. Such credibility is increasingly overwhelming the deterrence that US troops may have.

We do not believe Sullivan will repeatedly reiterate his attitude of ensuring that reunification by force "will never happen." It is very likely that he will recall or downplay this statement because the US cannot afford the responsibility and pressure of making this official. The US is far away from "defending Taiwan" at the cost of a deadly war.

Indeed, the US does have a way of ensuring that reunification by force "never happens." That is to blow the ambitions of the Taiwan authority to promote the "Taiwan independence," to force them to return to the 1992 Consensus and meet half way with the Chinese mainland on the path of peaceful reunification and to accept the principle of "one country, two systems." If Washington supports the Taiwan authority's path of seeking secession and encourages the Taiwan authority to rely on it, then reunification by force will definitely happen. The more the US and the island of Taiwan collude, the sooner reunification by force will come.

The Chinese mainland has the will to maintain peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits. However, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authority has rejected the one-China principle after it took office in 2016, which severely undermined the political foundation of cross-Straits relations and pushed the situation in the Taiwan Straits toward serious instability. Currently, people are talking about military confrontations in the Taiwan Straits very frequently, something that was unimaginable a few years ago. The key elements and mechanisms have all changed. Perhaps the critical point of turning back has already passed.

To avoid a showdown in the Taiwan Straits, the DPP authority must retreat in big steps and the US should urge it to return to the right track when it gets lost. If the US continues to regard the Taiwan island as a pawn to contain the Chinese mainland and send wrong signals to the DPP authority, then the situation will keep on worsening. Resolving the Taiwan question by force will become the inevitable and only choice for the Chinese mainland.

Mr Sullivan, please be advised to sort out your mind carefully and think about what bargaining chips you do have in your hands to intimidate the Chinese mainland which is determined to achieve national reunification and has various strategic tools to resist blackmail. You will find your hands empty. Therefore, don't have a big mouth, Mr Sullivan, otherwise you will only create more embarrassment for your country.