Truss' attempts to provoke Taiwan question for UK's geopolitical gain will backfire
Published: Jun 30, 2022 09:09 PM
Liz Truss Photo: AFP

Liz Truss Photo: AFP

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss reportedly issued a warning to China at the NATO summit in Madrid on Wednesday that any attempt to "invade" Taiwan island would be a "catastrophic miscalculation."

This is not the first time that Truss has provoked China. Truss' above-mentioned comments came just one day after she called for more rapid action to help Taiwan island with defensive weapons in case the Chinese mainland "invaded," saying that was "a key lesson from the Russian invasion of Ukraine."

The Chinese government is striving to address the Taiwan question by peaceful means. And how to resolve the Taiwan question is China's internal affair that brooks no external interference. This is China's basic principle and stance, toward which the UK is in no position to point fingers at China.

At the NATO summit, Britain's goal is also clear - it intends to cooperate with the US' "Indo-Pacific Strategy" and draw all allies and partners outside the Asia-Pacific region into the US-led alliance framework to the region, and launch fiercer competition and confrontation against China. To achieve the goal, the UK needs a big conflict or even crisis as leverage. It seems that in London's view, the Taiwan question can serve as such leverage. It has been constantly hyped the Taiwan question on different occasions. Truss' lines indicate that she wants to internationalize the Taiwan question and turn the decades of stability in the Asia-Pacific region into turbulence, crisis and even war.

Song Zhongping, Chinese military expert and TV commentator, told Global Times that even though the UK is following the US' lead, it has not reconciled to the decline of the prior glory of "the empire on which the sun never sets." As a result, it exploits hyping various regional hot spot issues to try to seek global attention. Its colonialist mind-set has been retained. That can explain why London has repeatedly interfered in the internal affairs of other countries and regions, including ramping up its effort to provoke China-related affairs on South China Sea, Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Taiwan.

The UK hopes it can restore the glory of the "British Empire" and it may think containing China and Russia will help realize this daydream. But China is a country that cannot be contained by any other country. If Britain does not keep its mind sober, the country will only ask for more trouble.

"Being tied to the US' chariot, the UK was speaking for the US in a bid to stir up the Western Pacific situation. In return, it can seek geopolitical interests in the region," Lü Xiang, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times. "This mind-set is sinister. And the UK should be cautious that such tactic will backfire."

Some observers say that Truss has constantly slandered China because she is eyeing becoming the next British prime minister. A Chinese expert told the Global Times on condition of anonymity that this scenario is possible. Against the British political system, a drama queen with unabashed individuality will easily trigger voters' attention, which will create a path for her political prospects.

Song said Truss should keep in mind that the Chinese cannot be bullied by whatever position she would take. If she dares to provoke China, the consequences will be disastrous. The UK has already learned a lesson on affairs related to Hong Kong. If the UK dares to meddle in the Taiwan question, it will be doomed to pay a heavy price.

The UK is no longer the country it was 100 years ago, and a systematic decline has been seen in all aspects of the country's capacity. The UK should realize that it is unable to incite NATO and the EU to systematically provoke China. Lü said that if the UK wants to test China's resolve on such a sensitive issue as the Taiwan question, it will get a decisive response.

On Thursday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian responded Truss' remarks, "It was quite surprising that a senior UK official would make such remarks, which lacked basic common sense and sounded rather presumptuous."