xi's moments
Home | Editorials

Banking on getting illusory US protection ruinous gamble for Taiwan secessionists: China Daily editorial

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2022-05-17 19:40

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

In recent years, the annual "Han Kuang" military exercises staged by the Taiwan island's "defense forces" have been plagued by embarrassing mishaps. Last year, the command center even caught fire. It remains to be seen what will bedevil this year's exercises, which began on Monday.

The yearly contretemps are a sign of the political intention that has raised the ambition for the exercises beyond the island's capability to execute them without misfortune.

The war games involving all branches of the island's armed forces are supposedly designed to test their combat readiness in the event of an "invasion" by the Chinese mainland. This year the previous computerized format for the simulations has apparently been dropped in favor of a physical tabletop map aimed at encouraging "face-to-face" talks among the island's top brass to debate and brainstorm tactics based on "scenarios" drawn from the conflict in Ukraine.

The tabletop exercise, simulating "all possible actions (the mainland) could take to invade Taiwan", will be followed by live-fire drills based on analysis of the simulations, according to "Major-General" Lin Wen-huang, who is in charge of combat and planning at the island's so-called defense department. Lin said that the aim was to take reference from the lessons of the Russia-Ukraine conflict to enhance the island's asymmetrical warfare capabilities.

Since the Ukraine conflict erupted, Taipei and Washington have continually sought to parallel Russia's "special military operation" in Ukraine with potential military action by Beijing targeting Taiwan, in a bid to justify the promises of US officials that the United States will "help Taiwan in the same way it supports Ukraine". They are doing so, despite the Taiwan question being fundamentally different from the Ukraine issue and the repeated assertions of the Joe Biden administration that it continues to uphold the commitments the US has made to the one-China principle.

Although Beijing seeks to realize reunification of the island with the motherland by peaceful means, it has made it clear that it does not rule out the use of force should the secessionists on the island cross its redline by going too far in pursuit of something that is pure invention on their part. This has been seized on by the anti-China lobby in Washington as a stick with which to beat Beijing, accusing it of "coercion" and "aggression".

Many residents on the island seem to have a more sober appreciation of the situation than those who have organized the war games. A poll released by the Taiwan Public Opinion Foundation on April 26 shows that up to 54 percent of people on the island do not believe that the US will send troops to "help defend Taiwan" if war breaks out across the Straits.

Although the US is bound by an act of Congress to provide the island with weapons, and would no doubt be willing to do so to draw out the conflict as long as possible as it has with Ukraine, the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and the devastation of the country, not to mention the severe spillover effects that threaten millions around the world with starvation, should show the Taiwan authorities and their supporters in Washington the disastrous folly of letting their fantasies rob them of reason.

Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349