US Republican Senator Ted Cruz is creating trouble again.
The anti-China senator is planning to propose a bill called “Taiwan Symbols of Sovereignty Act,” which aims to “peel back some of the extreme insults of Taiwanese that are inflicted by the one-China policy protocol,” such as the ban of Taiwan’s “officials” from visiting US government agencies, and prohibiting the island’s exchange students at West Point from wearing the uniform of their own “military.”
The scheme was made public by Christian Whiton, former senior adviser in the Trump and Bush administrations, on Friday at the Washington-based Hudson Institute. Whiton added, “I hope this will be a good start.” Cruz has long been hostile to China and has slammed the Asian country on various issues. But even if all his past misdeeds can be forgotten, it is totally unacceptable that he is now advocating Taiwan’s “sovereignty” and zeroing in on relevant legislation. This is a grave challenge to China’s bottom line.
“The United States acknowledges that all Chinese on either side of the Taiwan Strait maintain there is but one China and that Taiwan is a part of China.” This is the US declaration on record, written explicitly in the Shanghai Communiqué signed by China and the US in 1972.
In the eyes of certain US politicians like Cruz and Whiton, the one-China policy has inflicted “extreme insults” to Taiwan citizens and set restrictions for the US, but it is exactly this policy that has helped maintain stable China-US ties over the past 40 years. Once Cruz’s ridiculous bill is passed, it would be an overt violation of Washington’s own words, would cast all his predecessors’ efforts to the wind, and lead to disastrous consequences.
China must be and will be reunified – this is Beijing’s persistent position. China has already made it clear that “if anyone dares to split Taiwan from China, the Chinese military has no choice but to fight at all cost for national unity.”
The bill is a bare provocation. Anyone who challenges China’s core interests must pay a heavy price. Once Cruz’s proposal becomes a concrete policy, the US will certainly be placed in a dangerous situation. If US politicians continue to interfere in the Taiwan question, they will eventually draw fire against themselves. The worst-case scenario could even be a termination of the US-led order in Asia.
Politicians like Cruz reflect the decline and inefficiency of US politics. They are like clowns performing burlesques on the world power’s political stage. The worst is that Cruz and his likes are good at mobilizing public opinion, but lack basic history knowledge. If Cruz understands a little about the Korean War in the 1950s, he will figure out how much the powerful US paid for underestimating China’s determination.
The proposal might indeed be a “start,” as Whiton hopes, but one of disasters. Cruz and his colleagues had better ask if the Pentagon is well prepared.