Published: 11:35, May 22, 2024
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Whatever support secessionists get, 'independence' ain't going to happen
By China Daily

By announcing a new round of sanctions on three US companies for their involvement in arms sales to China's Taiwan island on Monday, Beijing has sent an unmistakable message to the United States that it has both the resolve and the means to counter any challenge to the one-China principle.

Boeing's Defense, Space & Security unit, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, and General Dynamics Land Systems have been added to China's Unreliable Entities list. Their inclusion on the list, which was established in February 2023, means the three US companies will face a ban on trade with China, as well as huge fines.

READ MORE: US firms in Taiwan arms sales penalized

Given the US companies' role in selling arms to Taiwan and the damage that may do to peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, China is fully justified in taking such a decisive measure. The move serves to drive home the message that Beijing will respond forcefully to any actions that might undermine China's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The latest move is meant to be a stern warning to the US, which, instead of scaling down and phasing out its arms sales to the island as promised, has continued to arm the Chinese island with colossal arms sales packages for years. The US' arms sales to the island, which undermine China's sovereignty and security interests, have become a major contributing factor to the worsening China-US relations and the jeopardizing of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

Those who should be heeding Beijing's message certainly include Lai Ching-te, the new administrative chief on the island, and other secessionist-minded politicians on the island, as the fresh sanctions on US companies were announced on the same day Lai took office and delivered his inauguration speech, which was laden with "Taiwan independence" fallacies and provocative language.

Although in his statement congratulating Lai on taking office, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stressed the "unofficial" nature of the US' relationship with the island, the Lai authorities will understand what he meant by pressing Taiwan to advance their "shared interests". Although it seems carefully crafted to avoid provoking Beijing, when put together with the US' intensive playing of the Taiwan card in the past few years, his words just serve to show the US' stubbornness in sticking to its game plan of saying one thing while doing another.

Lai has obviously taken a leaf out of the US book for his own speech. Despite ostensibly setting forth a "pro-peace", "pro-dialogue" and "pro-cooperation" stance, Lai's remarks only demonstrate his readiness to go further than his predecessor, Tsai Ing-wen, in attempting to split Taiwan from the motherland. Revealing himself to be a radical secessionist, Lai has exposed his willingness to do the US' bidding to help push the envelope of Beijing's redline in a bid to impel Beijing to resort to force to prevent the island being severed from the motherland, with the intention of providing the US with an excuse to drag other countries into its game so it can deal with Russia and China together.

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As such, backing from the US, especially its colossal arms sales to Taiwan, is deemed an "independence lifeline" by Lai and his ilk. It is not unreasonable to conclude that such weapons deals lend him and those of a like-minded bent the courage to seek "Taiwan independence" by instilling a sense of false confidence that their agenda can be realized through force of arms. Lai displayed that misjudged confidence in his inauguration address in Taipei on Monday.

That he has the audacity to claim that the island, with the backing of Washington, can strive for a "reciprocal" negotiation on an "equal footing" with the Chinese mainland from "a position of power" just serves to expose he is making a disastrous miscalculation by betting on the US' commitment to protecting the island. Taiwan compatriots can see clearly that since no US blood is being shed, such arms sales are just a lucrative business for the US. By inviting the wolf into the house, the "pro-independence" forces in Taiwan are inviting ruin to the island. In doing so, they are traitors to the entire Chinese nation and people.