Who has disturbed the tranquil waters of the Taiwan Straits?
Published: Nov 18, 2022 08:11 PM
Illustration:Liu Rui/GT

Illustration:Liu Rui/GT

The last few seats in the US House of Representatives are being decided in the 2022 midterm elections. In the wake of this campaign, many political analysts reckon that Congress will resume deliberations on the Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). A yearly piece of legislation by Congress, NDAA has long since set the stage for bold and reckless moves to be made on the Taiwan question. The rigid convention persists, as the FY 2023 NDAA encompasses a multitude of articles from the Taiwan Policy Act of 2022, posing grave threats to China's sovereignty and territorial integrity. The visit by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan island created a crest of tensions across the Straits, and the world is now watching to see whether the new Congress will ride the waves even higher.

Congress is hurting its reputation by serving as an interloper. The chambers enacted the "Taiwan Relations Act" in 1979, which blatantly stipulated that the United States will make available defense articles and services to Taiwan, lighting a time bomb for cross-Straits relations. These days, the pitfalls of this act are manifested through incessant congressional delegations to Taiwan, which plot to further undermine China's sovereignty and territorial integrity over the island, thereby inventing more pretexts for US intervention. The chattering classes claim the Taiwan question is about "democracy versus authoritarianism", and serve as warmongers by claiming that US forces are determined to "defend" Taiwan. 

The congressional remarks concerning Taiwan are cock and bull stories. China's principles and policies towards Taiwan island have been consistent, long-standing and clear-cut. There is only one China in the world. Taiwan has been and will always be an inalienable part of China's territory and belongs to all the Chinese people, including the 23 million Taiwan compatriots. The separatist and external forces who take provocative actions designed to divide the country and contain China are to blame for changing the status quo and pushing the new normal. 

The Taiwan question is not about democracy. It is a major issue of principle about China's sovereignty and territorial integrity. Peaceful reunification and One Country, Two Systems are China's basic principles, and China is seeking a Two Systems solution to the Taiwan question. While working with the greatest sincerity and making the utmost efforts to achieve peaceful reunification, China will not renounce the use of force. This is to guard against external interference and all separatist activities. In no way does it target Taiwan compatriots.

Moreover, China has never been so close to, confident in, or capable of achieving the goal of national rejuvenation as it is now. The same is true when it comes to the goal of complete national reunification. The Taiwan question arose as a result of weakness and chaos in China, and will be resolved as national rejuvenation becomes a reality. There is no way that China will allow Taiwan to be separated again. Attempts to reject reunification and split the country are doomed, because they will find themselves on a collision course with the history and culture of the Chinese nation as well as the resolve and commitment of more than 1.4 billion Chinese people.

Notably, the reach of China-US relations has already transcended its bilateral scope, as global challenges cannot be addressed without the concerted efforts from the margins of the Pacific Ocean. The Taiwan question could light the spark, and even trigger a conflagration across the Straits. The prospect of danger will loom large as long as Congress colludes with Taiwan authorities. If the Capitol continues to add fuel to the fire, China-US relations will fall down a slippery slope, making war in the Taiwan Straits a self-fulfilling prophecy, which will be of no benefit to either the US or China.

The Taiwan question is at the very core of China's core interests, the bedrock of the political foundation of China-US relations, and the first red line that must not be crossed in China-US relations. China is committed to peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, but cross-Strait peace and stability and "Taiwan independence" are as irreconcilable as water and fire. The US needs to follow through on President Biden's "five-no's" commitment. Instead of seeing China through tinted glasses, the floor of the Capitol should play a more objective role, allowing the facts and the truth to prevail.

The United States needs to work with China to explore the right way to get along with each other in the new era. This serves the shared interests of the two peoples and meets the expectations of the international community. To ensure a positive outcome, the US should create an enabling atmosphere through actions. Against this backdrop, the White House cannot be heedless of the Capitol. It is incumbent upon the US to keep a tight rein on Congress, and to hold back the turbulent tides crashing onto the rocks of the Taiwan Straits.

The author is an observer of international affairs. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn