US 'stopover' fully exposes Lai's despicable and humble nature: Global Times editorial
Published: Aug 14, 2023 12:20 AM
DPP candidate Lai Ching-te. Photo: VCG

DPP candidate Lai Ching-te. Photo: VCG

On Saturday, Lai Ching-te, who once again played the trick of a US "stopover," seemed to be a bit sneaky this time, in clear contrast to his previous arrogant attitude on cross-Straits issues. However, this doesn't mean Lai has become low-key after self-reflection, but rather a temporary measure forced by the Chinese mainland's deterrence and strict restrictions from the US. From this, we can see the despicable role Lai plays in cross-Straits issues and his humble position.

Lai is a diehard "Taiwan independence" advocate. He admitted himself as a "pragmatic Taiwan independence worker," which is more dangerous than a "theoretical Taiwan independence worker." He has gained the shameful title of "golden child of Taiwan independence" in the Taiwan island. For the Chinese people around the world, Lai is a betrayer who has forgotten his roots. For the US, which has publicly repeatedly expressed opposition to "Taiwan independence," Lai, who openly advocates "Taiwan independence," is also a "troublemaker." The US is worried about being implicated by him and its own grand strategy being disrupted, so it both utilizes and controls him. For Lai, who is determined to "rely on the US to seek independence," "relying on the US" is a means, and "seeking independence" is the goal. But now, it seems that the US cannot be relied upon, and "seeking independence" is a dead end. No matter how Lai jumps around, his fate has already been determined.

Tsai and Lai have both attached great importance to make US "stopovers," investing a lot of effort and resources in it, as if the US giving them a good face is worth the countless hard-earn money of the residents on the island. Essentially, any form of official exchanges between the US and the Taiwan island violates the One China principle; every US "stopover" is a touch on the red line and a provocation to all compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Straits who are committed to peaceful reunification. The frequency and severity of US "stopover" are accumulating tension for Taiwan's "danger of war." Now the Democratic Progressive Party and external forces like to talk about "peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits," but what they are doing is endangering peace and stability in the straits.

Perhaps the US wants to reduce the sensitivity and tension of Lai's US "stopover," or perhaps it wants to give Lai a slight remind. At least the reception on Lai's outbound travel is not high, and the return journey remains to be observed. However, this does not change the malicious nature of Lai's trip. Lai's recent claim that his political goal is to "walk into the White House has caused a stir within the island, and it has also made Washington unsatisfactory, feeling that this person is a bit uncontrollable. To mitigate the impact, the White House reiterated the one-China policy remains unchanged, which is also a signal that Lai must consider.

Lai is currently the deputy regional leader of Taiwan island, and the candidate for the next regional leader. As Lai is an open advocate for "Taiwan independence," it is widely anticipated that once elected, he will likely be more radical than Tsai on cross-Straits issues. There is a saying in Taiwan that choosing Lai is choosing war, and it should be emphasized that this is not an exaggeration. According to Taiwan media, the evening before Lai's visit, Tsai canceled her attendance at the opening ceremony of the 2023 Hakka Expo, calling relevant personnel and staff to convene a meeting to discuss how to respond to the latest situation in the Taiwan Straits. This anxiety and uneasiness will be the underlying psychological color that Tsai, Lai and their likes will find difficult to change.

In fact, Lai's destination this time is Paraguay, but he has made US "stopover" the focus; he is making every effort to please the US, hoping to gain support from Washington, but he fails to see that the future of both sides of the Taiwan Straits, including his own fate, is truly in the hands of the Chinese people. 

This is a clear case of Lai's inversion of priorities. Last year, when Lai transited through the US, he went to Honduras, but it turned into a "dead end." Over a year later, Honduras severed "diplomatic" ties with Taiwan island and established diplomatic relations with Beijing. This time, the situation in Paraguay is also uncertain. Paraguay is the island's only "diplomatic ally" in South America. If Paraguay is lost, even the excuse of a US "stopover" will be lost. It seems that the day when this will happen is not far away.