China: "Taiwan independence simply means war."
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Lately there has been lots of talk by the "president"
of Taiwan about independence, and China has been
pretty blunt in rejecting any such ideas. Here's an
article from the on-line People's Daily. Of course
this all won't come to a head for several years, but
this article is interesting in that it takes the US to
task - something China has not done much of for a long
Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Friday, November 21,
Chen Shui-bian's plan a blueprint for disaster
Taiwan "president" Chen Shui-bian recently made a
dangerous move by unveiling a timetable for a new
constitution through referendum. He states the
island's new constitution will be completed on
December 10, 2006, and come into force on May 20,
2008, when the island's new leader is inaugurated.
Taiwan "president'' Chen Shui-bian cannot wait for the
As a desperate step towards achieving that goal, Chen
recently unveiled a timetable for a new constitution
through referendum, which states the island's new
constitution will be completed on December 10, 2006,
and come into force on May 20, 2008, when the island's
new leader is inaugurated.
The schedule for the new constitution, which is
expected to provide Chen a "legal'' basis for
independence, is essentially the schedule for Chen to
separate Taiwan from China.
The move was not only Chen's thinly-disguised ploy to
win re-election in the coming "presidential''
competition, but also the latest development in his
conspiracy for independence.
It is not unexpected for Chen Shui-bian to be crazy
for Taiwan independence, given his out-and-out
pro-independence character prior to and during his
His "Five Nos'' commitment, such as not to pursue
Taiwan independence and not to push for a constitution
through referendum, has proven to be a blatant lie.
It was at most Chen's trick to win favour from Taiwan
people to consolidate his weak political foundation
during his initial "presidency.''
Chen immediately exhibited his conspiracy to pursue
Taiwan independence once he considered his political
foothold in the island secure. He has adopted a series
of measures to realize a gradual independence, such as
the moves to erase China's characteristics.
To gain votes from the island's independence forces,
he also reaffirmed on many occasions that his
confrontation with political rivals in the forthcoming
"presidential'' election would be the confrontation
between his "one country on each side'' theory and the
Signs indicate Chen Shui-bian is now racing against
time to orchestrate his independence plan.
His recent pronouncements were only another exposure
of his penchant for creating an independent state of
But fundamental reasons behind Chen's increasing
audacity for pursuing independence should be examined.
Chen and his ilk would have never had the temerity to
go farther and farther against the will of the Chinese
people, including Taiwan compatriots, without support
from foreign pro-Taiwan forces, especially those in
the United States.
The Taiwan issue would have never become a question
without US intervention.
On the one hand, the United States makes its
commitment to adhere to the one-China policy and not
to support Taiwan independence, but on the other hand,
it gives Taiwan oral and material support, thus laying
down a serious obstacle to mainland-island
The latest example was a suggestion by US Deputy
Secretary of State Richard Armitage on Tuesday that
the Bush administration should deploy sufficient
forces in the Asia-Pacific area to lower tensions
between the mainland and Taiwan. As well, the United
States recently provided a platform for Chen
Shui-bian's independence stand on his way to and from
In fact, some Pentagon officials have always supported
Taiwan's military buildup to fend off the perceived
"threat'' from the mainland.
Washington has stated on many occasions that it would
not allow any official visit to the United States by
Taiwan leaders, but it has always provided convenient
stopovers while they paid visits to other countries.
Such stopovers by Taiwan leaders have provided them a
platform to disseminate Taiwan independence.
It is exactly this kind of support from the United
States that has helped add fuel to Taiwan independence
According to international law and norms, the United
States should have completely halted its weapons sales
to Taiwan after establishing diplomatic relations with
the People's Republic of China in 1979, given that
Taiwan is an integral part of China.
But the United States has not been as good as its
Shortly after setting up formal ties with China, the
US Congress passed the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA)
which regulates US relations with the island.
The TRA stipulates that the United States bases its
decision to set up diplomatic ties with China upon
China's peaceful solution to the Taiwan question, and
it should provide Taiwan necessary defensive weapons
to protect the island from the mainland's military
The act is completely a domestic legislation of the
United States and Washington should not use its
domestic law to interfere in other countries' internal
Offering Taiwan almost all treatments that sovereign
countries enjoy with the United States, the act has
provided Taiwan with the largest incentive to seek
It's a fact that the United States has enormous
economic interests in Taiwan, and it is also
understandable that the United States is concerned
about how the mainland and Taiwan are reunited,
peacefully or by force.
But the US concern should not provide itself an excuse
to intervene in China's internal affairs.
No country covets a peaceful reunification between the
mainland and Taiwan more than China. The Chinese
people also have the right of reserving an effective
military means to smash any Taiwan independence
In fact, the US one-China policy and its commitment
not to support Taiwan independence is completely
contradictory with the TRA.
It is a deliberate ambiguity the United States has
been harboring in dealing with the mainland and
The United States has kept the two contradictory
policies for many years at the sacrifice of the
interests of China.
It is the US wish that it can balance the mainland and
Taiwan by clinging to the two lines and it can gain
benefit from a peaceful and stable cross-Straits
But the United States will miscalculate the situation
if it continues holding to the past mentality.
The current cross-Straits situation is not the
mainland pursuing reunification by force, but Taiwan
separatists stepping up their independence programme
by relying upon sophisticated weaponry from the United
Independence simply means war.
Unceasing arms sale to Taiwan may also be interpreted
by separatists as US support for Taiwan independence,
thus binding the United States upon the war chariot of
The US perspective of Taiwan as its "unsinkable
aircraft carrier'' in the Asia-Pacific region during
the Cold War is no longer suitable. And its ambiguous
strategy across the Taiwan Straits does not work any
It is time for the United States to re-orient its
policy towards cross-Straits relations and rid Taiwan
separatists of any expectation for foreign involvement
in a potential cross-Straits conflict.
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