State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Sunday called on the current US administration under Joe Biden to prudently and properly handle the Taiwan question, urging it to make a "clear departure" from its predecessor's "dangerous practice" on Taiwan.
The previous US government under Donald Trump constantly played the Taiwan card in a bid to exert strategic pressure on China, escalating tensions. So Wang has pointed out the right direction for the two countries to ease the strain it has put on their relations.
As Wang said, the one-China principle is the political foundation for relations between China and the United States. Any misjudgment or misstep by the Biden administration would ratchet up tensions not only between China and the US but also across the Taiwan Straits. The Biden administration should drop the previous administration's dangerous "playing with fire" as there is no room for compromise.
Yet, judging by the remarks of White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Monday, it seems the current US administration is far from ready to say farewell to the Taiwan-related policies adopted by its predecessor. By stating that the US stance on Taiwan remains the same and Washington will continue to assist Taiwan in maintaining a sufficient self-defense capability, the US official indicated that the new administration intends to continue its predecessor's policy toward Taiwan, including selling arms to the island, a strategy that Trump repeatedly used to disrupt Beijing's efforts to promote peaceful reunification.
Taiwan was reportedly the largest customer of US arms in 2020 according to media reports. The frequent US arms sales to the Chinese island have not only stoked cross-Straits tensions but also pushed the island to the forefront of the Sino-US confrontation.
Both Washington and pro-independence forces in Taiwan know the US would be reluctant to sacrifice any American lives in defense of the island if the situation eventually evolved into a hot war, with Beijing left with no option but to realize reunification by force having exhausted all peaceful means.
In fact, more and more Taiwan compatriots have seen through the US' hypocrisy in backing the Chinese island, as residents on the island have repeatedly paid a huge price in exchange for the so-called US' protection. Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen's reliance on US support in stoking confrontation with the Chinese mainland is becoming increasingly unpopular on the island.
Hence, the US should take China's latest warning seriously and fully grasp the sensitive nature of the Taiwan question and its impact on China-US relations. Any attempt to test the Chinese people's resolve to safeguard China's sovereignty and territorial integrity will be met with a strong and resolute response.
Beijing has the determination and all necessary means to navigate cross-Straits ties and make sure neither the island nor the US crosses the red line.
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