Source: Global Times
Illustration: Xia Qing/GT
According to media reports from the island of Taiwan, US Undersecretary of State Keith Krach will arrive on the island on Thursday and host the “US-Taiwan Economic and Commercial Dialogue.” Since US undersecretary of state is different from deputy officials from other US government departments, Krach’s tour is considered by all parties on the island as more sensitive. They think Krach’s visit is the latest manifestation of an upgrade in official relations between the US and the island of Taiwan.
On Wednesday, Reuters reported the US is pushing a surge in arms sales to the island of Taiwan – Washington plans to sell “seven weapons systems, including mines, cruise missiles and drones” at once.
The US and the island of Taiwan continue to adopt the “salami tactics” to expand the space for their ties, increasing US arms sales to the island, and attempting to force the Chinese mainland to swallow such a trend. They keep throwing stones into the water of the Taiwan Straits. But once they go too far, the stones may become torpedoes, increasing the uncertainties in the entire region, as well as the risks of drastic changes in the Taiwan Straits.
A strategic game of the century between China and the US is being shaped. This is a reality every country and every force in the Asia-Pacific region have to face. Among all regional forces, the Taiwan authorities are the most stupid. Smart ones would go after profit and avoid harm, seeking to butter their bread on both sides in the China-US game. But the Taiwan authorities are destroying their strategic maneuvering ability by completely siding with the US, turning itself into a pawn and a punching bag of the US, bearing the growing risk of an outbreak of a military conflict in the Taiwan Straits.
The Taiwan authorities often brag about “freedom and democracy” in the island, which are self-comforting empty slogans. The Taiwan authorities have no politically reliable strategic plans. They have no idea what Taiwan’s future will be like, and cannot predict what strategic resources Taiwan’s “freedom and democracy” could bring to the island to confront the mainland.
Could Taiwan become a sovereign state? Such a goal is as illusory as Taiwan could one day drift to the side of the US. The Taiwan authorities are clear that the best-case scenario is to maintain the status quo. Their de-Sinicization campaigns in the island and pursuit of US support are self-entertaining tricks that serve their ambitions. But from a historical point of view, those are nothing but bubbles.
The authorities of Democratic Progressive Party throwing themselves into the lap of the US will lead to a deformed political mentality and security value within the island, narrowing the path the island can take. No surrounding countries and regions will take US protection as a lifeline as much as the island of Taiwan does, nor will they act beyond their abilities to engage in a confrontation with the Chinese mainland. Taiwan will become an exception in the region. It will be anxious for gains and losses in the long run, and plagued by imaginary fears.
Fully relying on the US will make the island of Taiwan subject to the willful exploitation of the US. The Tsai Ing-wen authorities lifted import restrictions on US pork and beef as a reward for the visit of US health and human services secretary Alex Azar. Many people wonder how Taiwan will be taken advantage of from Krach’s trip. US is increasing its arms sale to Taiwan, it that a part of the deal? Once the People’s Liberation Army dispatches troops to reunify the island of Taiwan, the military equipment from the US will be nothing but decorations. The arms sales to Taiwan are a mechanism for Washington to blackmail the island.
International law clearly states that Taiwan is not a country. The US and the island of Taiwan are attempting to upgrade their official ties, and the island is trying to receive greater “country-level treatment” from the US. This constitutes the biggest change to the status quo in the Taiwan Straits, and a continuing source of tensions in the region. The further the US and Taiwan island go in this direction, the more likely the situation in the Taiwan Straits will spiral out of control. Taiwan will suffer the most. Promoting relations with the US is nothing but a way to quench its thirst by drinking poison.
The Taiwan authorities are putting the security and well-being of people on the island in jeopardy. They are leading the island into a blind alley. An increasing number of people are worried that the Taiwan Straits will be the most likely powder keg in the China-US competition. People on the island will be plunged into misery. If that day comes, Taiwan authorities will be an unforgivable sinner for both the island and the rest of China.