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US should uphold commitments it has made to Beijing on Taiwan question | Updated: 2024-06-23 20:19
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Something seems to have got lost in translation. Or is the US blatantly eating its words? Despite stressing on multiple occasions the importance of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and pledging that the United States does not support "Taiwan independence", the United States said on Saturday that it held consultations with Taipei on Friday with the aim of expanding the Chinese island's "meaningful participation" in the United Nations system and other international forums.

That belies US President Joe Biden's words and the commitments the US has made to Beijing concerning the Taiwan question, as statehood is the prerequisite for participation in UN agencies and other international organizations. Taiwan has previously been granted observer status of the World Health Assembly subject to Beijing's approval and the island's authorities upholding the 1992 Consensus on one China.

The majority of countries, the US included, recognize that there is only one China, Taiwan is part of China, and that the government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legal government representing China. This principle is enshrined in UN General Assembly Resolution 2758.

In his talks with the Chinese leader, whether by telephone or in person, Biden has discussed the fact that the US and China have differences when it comes to Taiwan, but that they have managed those for over 40 years. That those differences are now at the heart of the fraught relations between the two countries is because the Biden administration seems intent on negating the US' commitments, as set out in the Three Joint Communiques between the two countries. In a statement released by the US State Department, the US administration continued to affirm that it still adheres to the US' one-China policy, but it was simply playing with words. Washington has developed a penchant for playing the Taiwan card in a bid to contain China's rise and development and maintain the US' global hegemony.

To throw its support behind the island's separatists and bolster them up to confront the Chinese mainland, the US has been ramping up its arms sales to the Chinese island. Just last week, Washington approved sales of hundreds of armed drones, missile equipment and related support material to the island. Such moves severely undermine China's sovereignty and security interests, and seriously harm China-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

But, no matter what the US does it will not change Beijing's stance on the Taiwan question. No one should underestimate its resolve and capability to safeguard the nation's territorial integrity and sovereignty. It has already taken a series of countermeasures to deter pro-independence forces in Taiwan and send a signal to the "black hand" behind them. The People's Liberation Army has demonstrated its capability to effectively seal off the island of Taiwan. It has also intensified patrols in waters near Taiwan and staged military drills and exercises more frequently, making big strides in steadily improving its combat readiness.

And marking an important step to curb the ill trend of "Taiwan independence", Beijing on Friday revealed a set of judicial guidelines that impose severe criminal punishments on diehard pro-independence separatists. This new legal weapon sends a stern warning to any on the island aspiring to separate the island from the motherland that there will be a heavy price to pay for organizing, plotting or carrying out schemes of "de jure independence", or seeking independence by relying on foreign support or force.

Washington should realize that it is its growing addiction to playing the Taiwan card and the wibbly-wobbly line it is walking on its word that is recklessly emboldening the secessionists on the island and putting peace across the Taiwan Strait in jeopardy.

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