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Resolute response no overreaction to serious provocations of Tsai's US 'visits': China Daily editorial

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-03-29 20:19

Tsai Ing-wen makes a speech before her departure to New York to start her trip to Guatemala and Belize at Taoyuan International Airport in Taoyuan, Taiwan March 29, 2023. [Photo/Agencies]

The more Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen declared that she has the "right" to "connect" the island with the world before departing for a 10-day trip to Central America from Taipei on Wednesday, the more it showed she knows she doesn't.

According to the released itinerary for her trip, she is making stopovers in New York and Los Angeles on either side of her visits to Guatemala and Belize. And while she will stay about one day in each of the two Central American countries, she will spend about a week in the United States. Which serves to expose the nature of her trip as a cover for her to seek more US support for her "pro-independence" cause.

She has previously made six such "stopovers" in the US since taking office in 2016, and each has invariably led to an escalation of tensions between Beijing and Washington and across the Taiwan Straits.

Taipei and Washington have always brazenly blamed this on Beijing's "overreaction", and some of the China hawks in Washington probably harbor the hope that they can provoke Beijing into using force against Taiwan, which will help them isolate Beijing from the world. Even if Beijing does not "overreact", Tsai's "stopovers" are still of use to them, as they continue the "past precedent", which serves as a salami-slicing tactic to hollow out the one-China principle and sow confusion over the Taiwan question.

Regional stability and development are the victims of Tsai's de facto "visits" to the US. The stopovers and US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy's scheduled meeting with Tsai in California, which was confirmed by the US side on Wednesday, are nothing but grave provocations. Beijing has every right to take "resolute countermeasures", as it pledged on Wednesday.

Tsai is more clear than anybody else that the US only regards the island as a pawn in its geopolitical game. That she still obsessively presses ahead with her "pro-independence" cause should drive home the message to Taiwan compatriots and her Western audiences that she does not take the island's interests and the well-being of its people into consideration. Otherwise, she would have expressed concern at US President Joe Biden's recent remarks that the US has a plan for the destruction of the island, and the Biden administration coercing Taiwan's leading technology companies to move the manufacturing of their next-generation products to the US.

In contrast, former Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou has solemnly upheld the one-China principle during his ongoing homecoming visit to the mainland. The veteran Kuomintang member's call for the two sides of the Straits to strive for a rejuvenation of China offers a rational and responsible response to the Taiwan question, and puts into stark relief the efforts of Taipei and Washington to try and create the illusion that a war is imminent and unavoidable.

That being said, Tsai is not connecting the island with the world. She is making connections with those whose back she can scratch in the hope of sustaining a cause that is doomed to failure.

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