PLA sends a strong warning to secessionists: China Daily editorial
The recent series of training operations conducted by the People's Liberation Army obviously had a strong message to send to the Taiwan secessionists and Washington.
The coordinated joint assault drill conducted by the PLA Eastern Theater Command in the airspace and southwestern and southeastern waters off the island of Taiwan last week was of special significance as it demonstrated that the PLA has the capability to encircle the island and cut off support from the outside at the same time.
Earlier this month, the PLA Rocket Force launched two short-range missiles of a new type that can accurately hit positions hundreds of kilometers away. According to analysts, such missiles would be capable of paralyzing the airborne early warning and control system on the island and its vicinity in an instant.
With the PLA continuously improving and enhancing its combat capabilities, any attempt to seek the island's independence is tantamount to dancing at the point of a sword. As such the PLA drills also served as a stern warning to the United States that playing the "Taiwan card" is risky and a misstep could prove costly.
The US has been colluding with separatist elements in Taiwan, making waves in the Taiwan Straits and heightening tensions in the region in an attempt to contain China's rise and development.
In July, a US military transport plane landed in Taiwan, contravening what had been agreed in the three communiqués that underpin diplomatic relations between the US and China. And earlier this month, the US State Department approved an arms deal with China's Taiwan region worth $750 million, marking the first arms sale to the island by the US administration under Joe Biden.
The US is only using Taiwan as leverage in its strategic competition with the Chinese mainland. Many observers have repeatedly warned the Taiwan authorities that the US will not sacrifice any US lives for the island. If pro-independence forces still indulge in the fantasy that they can count on the US support to realize that objective, they do not need to look any further than Afghanistan to know that the US will cut and run whenever it decides it has had enough of its costly game.
Both the Taiwan authorities and Washington should not miscalculate the situation and underestimate Beijing's determination and capacity to safeguard China's sovereignty and territorial integrity. No matter how many tricks they play, it cannot stop the process of China's reunification.
As China's defense ministry has repeatedly warned, the PLA will resolutely oppose anyone attempting to separate Taiwan from China and safeguard national unity at all costs.