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Washington risks causing explosive spark by crossing redline on Taiwan question: China Daily editorial | Updated: 2021-10-24 19:14
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Photo taken on July 21, 2019 from Xiangshan Mountain shows the Taipei 101 skyscraper in Taipei, China's Taiwan. [Photo/Xinhua]

Speculation over whether US President Joe Biden's latest remarks on Taiwan were a "gaffe" or a slip of tongue are meaningless as it will not slacken China's vigilance in guarding against US provocations over the Taiwan question, but rather consolidate its determination to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

After Biden said the United States was committed to "defending" Taiwan if it came under attack in an interview with CNN on Thursday, a White House spokesperson soon clarified that Biden was not announcing any change in US policy on Taiwan.

Yet, Biden's explicit statement that the US has a commitment to defending Taiwan is a clear departure from the ambiguity successive US governments have sought to maintain.

Nevertheless, the White House's statement shows the US is not yet ready to embrace the ramifications of such an open declaration of its policy stance, as it clearly knows the dire consequences. In August, the White House put out a similar fire ignited by Biden over Taiwan after the US leader surprisingly applied Article Five of the NATO Charter, also known as "collective defense" clause, to also include regions such as Taiwan.

The US administration should know challenging Beijing's redline over Taiwan would be tantamount to playing with fire. As China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin pointed out, there is "no room" for compromise or concessions over Taiwan.

With covert and overt backing and instigation from the US side, separatist forces in Taiwan have been further emboldened in their antics to promote "Taiwan independence". Those who still indulge in the dream that the US will defend the island need look no further than Afghanistan to know the ruin wrought by US policy whims.

Beijing has repeatedly warned no one should underestimate the strong determination, firm will and strong ability of the Chinese people to defend the nation's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The US should stop trying to test the bottom line of China lest it make a strategic miscalculation or misjudgment on the Taiwan question.

Due to the provocations of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party on the island, tensions in the Taiwan Straits have already reached an alarmingly high level.

Washington should not gamble that it can heighten the strategic pressure on Beijing over the Taiwan question without causing an explosive spark.

The People's Liberation Army will not hesitate to act if the redline is crossed on the Taiwan question.

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