Message delivered at Beijing Xiangshan Forum is worth pondering: Global Times editorial
Published: Oct 30, 2023 11:47 PM
Under the theme of Common Security, Lasting Peace, the 10th Beijing Xiangshan Forum is held in Beijing from October 29 to 31, 2023. Photo: Li Aixin/GT

Under the theme of "Common Security, Lasting Peace," the 10th Beijing Xiangshan Forum is held in Beijing from October 29 to 31, 2023. Photo: Li Aixin/GT

The 10th Beijing Xiangshan Forum kicked off on Sunday. As one of the most representative security forums in the world, it was held face-to-face again after four years and was highly anticipated by all parties. This is evident by the record number and level of representatives. In particular, a large number of representatives from developing countries attended the meeting, as well as representatives from conflicting parties, such as Russia and Ukraine, and Israel and Arab countries. Against the background of constant conflicts and wars in various places and the turbulent international situation, it is obvious that all parties are here for security and peace. This shows that China's Global Security Initiative has been recognized and supported by more and more countries. This is also the essence of the theme of this year's Xiangshan Forum "Common Security and Lasting Peace."

This year, the outside world has focused on China-US relations and the Taiwan question. The US Department of Defense sent a delegation to the Xiangshan Forum and the Chinese military issued a stern warning on the Taiwan question, both of which have received widespread attention. Many people hope to find clues about the future direction of the situation. Frankly speaking, the two issues are highly related to each other. The Taiwan question is the central issue in China-US relations, and the same is true for the relationship between the Chinese and American militaries. The most direct reason why the military interaction between the two sides has reached a low point is the US' political manipulation of the Taiwan question. The US itself is well aware of this.

Zhang Youxia, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission, warned in his keynote speech on Monday that the Chinese military will never tolerate and will be relentless against anyone who dares to split Taiwan from China in any way. This statement has elicited a significant response that is worthy of careful consideration by the international community. On Chinese social media, phrases like "never tolerate," and "relentless against" have gone viral. This is not the first time China has issued such a stern warning. On the contrary, it is one of the clearest statements China has made on various international occasions in recent years, and each time it has consistently garnered strong support from the Chinese public. This scene is a strong signal in itself to external forces attempting to interfere in the Taiwan question, fully demonstrating the resolute determination of the entire Chinese nation for achieving national reunification. Some American politicians who assess whether China will "resolve the Taiwan question through the use of force" based on calculating the so-called "political gains and losses" are fundamentally misguided, and the conclusions they reach are naturally off the mark.

There have been some signs of warming in China-US relations recently, but when it comes to the Taiwan question, China's stance remains unchanged. This is not contradictory; it underscores the extreme importance of the Taiwan question to China, as it is at the core of China's core interests, and this red line can never change under any circumstances. The reason for repeatedly emphasizing this issue publicly is that some individuals continue to test the boundaries of this red line, trying to test China's bottom line. China is being candid and forthright about its true stance on the matter, which clearly indicates that there is no room for "negotiation" on matters of sovereignty. In this regard, any force willing to take risks should carefully weigh the consequences to avoid getting themselves into trouble.

The psychological deterrence effect played by the Chinese people and the Chinese People's Liberation Army by repeatedly declaring and emphasizing their determination, will and ability to fight "independence" forces and promote reunification cannot be ignored. "Do not say that you have not been forewarned." China is playing a clear card and will never be soft on the separatist behavior of Taiwan "independence" forces. It is believed that not many people will be stupid enough to think that China is just talking. Anyone who has a certain understanding of China's style knows that China always acts as it says. If the Chinese military will never tolerate, then it will definitely have the means and capabilities to not tolerate; if the Chinese military says it will never be soft-handed, then it will definitely be prepared to not be soft-handed. This applies to both Taiwan "independence forces" and external interference forces.

It is important to emphasize that China's stern warning is by no means a "warlike statement" but precisely a defense of peace. The current situation is that the US keeps pushing gunpowder into Taiwan and it is continuously increasing military deployments around China, and simultaneously promoting the narrative of "Chinese mainland's use of force against Taiwan." This combination of actions raises doubts about whether Washington is genuinely preparing for a conflict that the world cannot afford. China's warnings issued on various occasions are like a bucket of cold water poured over the heads of those war enthusiasts in Washington. Only by extinguishing their unrealistic hopes can peace across the Taiwan Straits be achieved. This is also an important message of peace that the Xiangshan Forum conveys to the world.