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Duo's provocations foolish and futile: China Daily editorial

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-10-07 20:40

Photo taken on July 21, 2019 from Xiangshan Mountain shows the Taipei 101 skyscraper in Taipei, China's Taiwan. [Photo/Xinhua]

With the Taiwan authorities and their foreign backers playing one trick after another to provoke Beijing, tensions continue to build up in the Taiwan Straits.

With the risk growing that the island's administration might be emboldened to cross Beijing's bottom line on one China, it is only natural that the People's Liberation Army should seek to heighten its combat readiness.

To this effect, 38 PLA warplanes conducted exercises near the island on Oct 1, which was a new one-day record, albeit a short-lived one. Just one day later, the number of aircraft was up to 39. On Monday, it reached over 50.

These moves have spooked the island's secession-minded leader Tsai Ing-wen. In an article published in Foreign Affairs magazine on Tuesday, she claimed that: "If Taiwan were to fall, the consequences would be catastrophic for regional peace and the democratic alliance system."

Indeed, if Tsai and Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party continue to walk along their current path, they will be risking peace and stability. The mainland has repeatedly warned that the DPP is leading the island on a dangerous path with its ploys. Tsai and her colleagues should not dismiss the latest PLA military activity as simply bluster.

Although they are being encouraged in their bids to portray the island as an independent entity by the blatant support of the United States and its allies, which regard the island as a useful tool in their power plays against China, they should not interpret the PLA's message as being just empty words.

Taiwan has been and will always remain a part of China. Challenging this incontrovertible fact and testing the Chinese people's will to safeguard the country's territorial integrity will come at a heavy cost.

Washington too should bear that in mind. Although it repeatedly accuses Beijing of heightening tensions in the Taiwan Straits, it is the chief culprit. It is its encouragement of the Tsai administration's provocations that is the fundamental cause of the intensifying cross-Straits stress fracture.

It has taken its mischief-making to new levels not only by ramping up its arms sales to the island and dispatching aircraft carriers to sail through the Taiwan Straits, but also by stretching the limits on its commitment to have no official exchanges with the island.

Yet acting like a criminal who brings a lawsuit against his victims, the US State Department has accused Beijing of engaging in military, diplomatic and economic pressure and coercion against Taiwan.

But the truth is, it is Washington and the separatist forces in Taiwan that are ratcheting up tensions and risking a miscalculation by constantly cooking up schemes to try and rattle Beijing.

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