Protesters rally against DPP secessionist Lai's 'stopovers' in US
Published: Aug 11, 2023 08:46 PM
DPP candidate Lai Ching-te. Photo: VCG

DPP candidate Lai Ching-te. Photo: VCG

One day before the planned "stopover" in the US by deputy leader of Taiwan region Lai Ching-te, more than 600 people from 60 political parties and civil organizations held a rally at Ketagalan Boulevard in Taipei, protesting against Lai's secessionist provocations which may ratchet up tensions across the Taiwan Straits. They called on the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authorities to recognize the 1992 Consensus and seek peace and development with the Chinese mainland.

Lai, who is also running for the 2024 regional election, will make "stopovers" in New York and San Francisco during an August 12-18 trip to Paraguay.

Lai's "reliance on the US to seek independence" has seriously damaged the interests of the people in Taiwan, torn the affection and trust of people on both sides of Straits, and undermined the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations, reads a joint statement released after Friday's rally. 

The statement pointed out that Lai and the DPP authorities refuse to recognize the "1992 Consensus," destroyed the political basis for maintaining peaceful exchanges between the two sides of the Straits, acted as a pawn for US politicians and actively cooperated with the US to build Taiwan into a powder keg, which will bring disastrous consequences to Taiwan.

The statement said that Taiwan secession will inevitably bring the disaster of war, and only peaceful reunification is the most beneficial path for the well-being of compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Straits. It warned Lai and the DPP authorities to face up to the peaceful calls of the people, stop seeking secession by relying on the US, and not be a pawn of the war machine.

Besides, over a dozen of overseas councils for the promotions of peaceful reunification of China have expressed strong opposition to Lai's "stopovers."

Against the backdrop of Lai's "transit" visit, an online poll released by Taiwan-based media Thursday shows that more than 65 percent of respondents expressed concern about cross-Straits military conflict. 

 "Taiwan people always have doubts about whether Lai, who self-claimed to be a 'pragmatic worker for Taiwan independence,' could avoid triggering a military conflict across the Taiwan Straits. And his hooking up with the US to provoke the mainland with a stopover undoubtedly intensified the doubts of the Taiwan people," Zhang Wensheng, deputy dean of the Taiwan Research Institute at Xiamen University, told the Global Times on Friday.

Lai may have hoped to woo his voters by provoking the mainland, but this approach runs counter to the desire of most Taiwan people for peaceful exchanges and cooperation between the two sides of Straits, Zhang said.

From the cases of US withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Ukraine crisis, to the sale of FIM-92 Stinger missiles and anti-tank mine-laying systems to Taiwan, the island's people have become increasingly clear that once there is a war, the US will not necessarily send troops, and will even make no difficulty to see Taiwan destroyed as cannon folder, Zhang noted. 

In an interview with the VOA on Thursday, John Kirby, White House national security spokesperson, said that there is no reason [for China] to escalate and create tensions since "there's no change in US one-China policy." 

However, experts believe that it is the Americans who say one thing but do another. On Wednesday, Lai expressed his gratitude to the US for providing "comfort, convenience, security and dignified" transit assistance.

Offering Taiwan secessionist political figures a decent reception is an act of endorsement of Taiwan independence activity, which seriously violates the one-China policy promised by the US, Zhang said. 

It is impossible for US to expect the Chinese government and people to remain silent about the US breaking its promises and undermining China's sovereignty, Zhang said. 

According to the report from Taiwan region's defense authority, two People's Liberation Army (PLA) aircrafts and 6 PLA Navy vessels around Taiwan were detected by 6 am Friday, with two aircrafts crossed the so-called median line of the Taiwan Straits. Besides, 33 PLA aircraft and 6 PLA Navy vessels around Taiwan were detected by 6 am on Thursday.