Bolder and harsher measures needed to deter DPP authority’s secessionist attempt
Published: Apr 07, 2022 08:29 PM

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: VCG

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: VCG

According to news reports Thursday on the island of Taiwan, sources from Fuji News Network said that the Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi will lead a delegation to visit Taiwan on Sunday. She will even cancel her scheduled visit to South Korea for the trip to Taiwan, said the media. It would be the first visit by a serving US House Speaker to Taiwan since 1997. 

The political significance of Pelosi's visit to Taiwan is quite obvious: The Speaker is second in the presidential line of succession. Although neither Pelosi's office nor Taiwan authorities have confirmed the visit as of press time, the trip doesn't sound like a rumor. According to Taiwan media, Sunday marks the 43rd anniversary of the enactment of the Taiwan Relations Act, and Taiwan authorities have been preparing for the visit of a delegation of US congressmen and congresswomen. Judging from the timing, Taiwan authority and the US may have long planned Pelosi's visit. 

Washington recently made frequent and aggressive moves over the Taiwan question. The US announced on Tuesday its third arms sale to Taiwan since US President Joe Biden took office. On the same day, Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen   used the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict as an opportunity to warn the Chinese mainland against reunification with Taiwan by force.

Apart from the US' increasingly provocative policy toward Taiwan over the years, the current tension between Russia and Ukraine has actually emboldened the US to do what it has been afraid to do for the past 25 years. It is possible Washington will use the Taiwan question to force Beijing to make concession or take military action.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a regular press conference on Thursday that China would take strong measures if Pelosi visits the island of Taiwan. He also emphasized her trip would seriously undermine China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, shake the political foundation of China-US relations, and send the wrong signal to secessionist forces on the Taiwan island.

An expert on the Taiwan question who requested anonymity told the Global Times that the mainland should not just issue vague warnings to let Washington know that it has seriously broken its commitment to Beijing and violated the latter's bottom line. According to him, the mainland's patience and restraint on the Taiwan question can no longer effectively deter US and Taiwan authorities. "If we don't take bolder and harsher measures to strike back, Washington will only become more and more reckless. It might even take substantive diplomatic action to change the status quo in the Taiwan Straits," said the expert.

He believes that the Chinese mainland should inform the US what exact serious consequences it would face if Pelosi visits Taiwan. "For instance, we can tell the US we will send warplanes to intercept her plane and not allow it to land on the island. Then we can increase war preparedness. Once that message is sent, US and Taiwan authorities will immediately understand the mainland is not afraid of war, and thus, will get nervous," noted the expert.

Our toughness is also not only shown to the US, but also to the political forces in Taiwan: Any force there that wants to provoke conflicts in the Straits will only draw fire to themselves. We have to show them the mainland is serious about reunification by force. Only in this way can secessionists on the island be frightened enough to stop carrying on with their attempts to acquire "independence."

The author is a reporter with the Global Times. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn