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Playing Taiwan card is a high-risk gamble: China Daily editorial

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-02-25 19:15
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A view of Taipei, China's Taiwan region. [Photo/VCG]

The latest arms sales package to Taiwan approved by the State Department of the United States on Wednesday is further evidence that the Joe Biden administration continues to interfere in the Taiwan question despite its repeated pledges that it sticks to the one-China policy and does not support "Taiwan independence".

According to the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the "Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States" has requested the purchase of military cross domain solutions; high assurance devices; global positioning system receivers; communications equipment; requirements analysis; engineering; technical services; and other related elements of logistics and program support at an estimated cost of $75 million. The agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of the possible sale the same day.

The move has been strongly condemned by Beijing, with a defense ministry spokesperson on Friday urging the US administration to stop arming the island with weapons in any form and to cut military contacts with the island's secession-seeking Democratic Progressive Party authorities.

For years, US administrations have reneged on the US' promise to scale down arms sales to Taiwan by approving colossal arms sales to the Chinese island. At the same time, to justify such an ill practice, they have been trying to sell the narrative that the US is obliged to help heighten Taiwan's defense capabilities in the face of the Chinese mainland's increasingly "aggressive posture" toward the island.

This is a deliberate distortion of the truth. Beijing has reiterated time and again that although it does not give up the option of a national reunification by force, it always pursues the peaceful reunification of the island with the motherland.

The truth is US administrations have developed a penchant for playing the Taiwan card in an attempt to put strategic pressure on Beijing, with arms sales to the island being just one of the many gambits employed in this regard.

The US' manipulation of Taiwan-related issues has emboldened the DPP to provocatively try to undermine China's sovereignty over the island, stoking tensions across the Taiwan Strait and damaging relations between the Chinese and US militaries and Sino-US relations at large.

Washington hypes up the risks of a war breaking out in the Taiwan Strait as a result of Beijing opting to use force to realize Taiwan's reunification with the motherland. But it is the US doubling down on its meddling in the Taiwan question that risks sparking a conflict with China.

The real spark for a conflict erupting will be from the US' moves and its collusion with the DPP authorities. They are dancing on a tightrope that is being strained to breaking point.

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