A soldier looks through binoculars during combat exercises and training of the navy of the Eastern Theater Command of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) in the waters around the Taiwan island, Aug 5, 2022. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
The United States was repeatedly warned that there would be serious consequences if House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan.
But defying all the disapproval and the urgings from all corners of the world that she abandon her provocative plan, including the message from the White House that it was thought not to be a good idea, she arrived in Taipei anyway on Aug 2.
It is clear to all that her visit was intended to be a significant and provocative show of support for the secession-desiring Tsai Ing-wen administration on the island. The Democratic Progressive Party has written the pursuit of independence into its party program. Beijing is therefore fully justified in responding in a way that ensures the separatists know the risks they are running in trying to edge the island toward "independence".
The live-fire drills the People's Liberation Army is conducting around Taiwan are meant primarily as a deterrent against the separatist forces on the island. But they are also meant to ensure that not just Washington, but all "external forces" are aware of the serious consequences of meddling in the Taiwan question, which is purely an internal affair of China.
Pelosi's trip once again demonstrated that it is China hawks in Washington that are the source of the greatest trouble in the region and therefore the gravest threat to regional peace and stability. They are not only maliciously infringing on China's sovereignty by playing the "Taiwan card" but also violating the US' international obligations. The US' ugly record of meddling in other countries' internal affairs is littered with such hubristic provocations.
Beijing has thus announced eight measures tailored specifically for Washington, which are intended to drive home the message that playing the "Taiwan card" brews real dangers.
Three of the measures are cancellations of military-to-military talks. The other five are the suspension of cooperation in areas such as climate change and transnational crimes where China and the US have been working together.
The US is used to creating a problem first, and then using it to realize its own strategic aims. Despite the Joe Biden administration's claims that it couldn't stop Pelosi's visit, the US has clearly taken the opportunity, whether planned or not, to try and mess up the regional security landscape.
As State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said, "This is very dangerous and stupid". No matter how the US supports or connives with the Taiwan separatist forces, it will be in vain. Nor should it pin its hopes on countries in the region joining it in provoking trouble over the Taiwan question, because peace, stability, development and win-win cooperation are the common aspirations of regional countries.
As Wang assured his hosts during his recent visits to Southeast Asian nations, while making justified, reasonable, legal and measured responses to counter Washington's attempts to play the "Taiwan card", Beijing is making every effort to preserve regional peace and stability. So while inflicting pain on the violators, Beijing has also shown that it wants to neither upend the China-US relationship, nor disrupt the regional security landscape.
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