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Coast Guard check proves the lie of Taipei's claim: China Daily editorial

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-02-20 20:54

Taiwan media outlets have reported that members of the Fujian coast guard boarded a Kinmen island tourist ship, carrying 11 crew and 23 passengers, on Monday to conduct a "routine check" that lasted about half an hour.

That's the first time personnel of the Chinese mainland's coast guard have boarded a Taiwan ship to perform their duties, which happened five days after two mainland fishermen drowned as a result of their vessel being chased from waters near Kinmen island.

The Fujian coast guard authorities' moves are legitimate and professional. There are no "prohibited" waters in the region as claimed by Taipei in a bid to justify its "law enforcement actions". The waters near the Xiamen and Kinmen islands belong to the same country with the central government in Beijing as its sole legal representative.

The "protest" the island's Democratic Progressive Party authorities ostensibly made to Beijing on Tuesday complaining the boarding check incident "hurt the feelings of our people, created panic among the people, and was not in the interest of the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait" holds no water.

To begin with, it is the deaths of the two fishermen caused by Taipei's wrong and risky actions that have hurt the feelings and interests of people on both sides of the Strait, and created panic among them. The Fujian coast guard's move should serve to awaken the DPP authorities to the fact that the mainland has the legitimacy, resolve and capacity to suit its actions to its words. The action is believed to herald the start of the regular patrols in the waters that the Fujian coast guard authorities vowed to conduct after the tragedy occurred. It is likely to be the beginning of a series of efforts the mainland takes to strengthen its maritime law enforcement in the waters.

Since the DPP authorities took power on the island in 2016, they have abandoned the 1992 Consensus that the two sides of the Strait belong to one China and left no stone unturned to seek the support of external forces for their "independence" cause, irrespective of the consequences of doing so. It is not the mainland that has taken the initiative to change the status quo across the Strait but the DPP authorities, which are eager to portray the island as a victim of the mainland's "bullying, coercion and threats".

Taipei is simply taking advantage of Washington's China-containment strategy to advance their own "Taiwan independence" agenda, betting the future of the island on US politicians' geopolitical gambling. Since the then US House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi's reckless visit to the island in August 2022, the DPP authorities should have been in a better position than any other party to realize that the space for their secessionist cause has been seriously squeezed.

Those still nurturing the illusion that the island can become "independent" by means of "salami" tactics will eventually realize that they are being paid back in kind. The island's reunification with its motherland is actually being realized step by step.

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