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Experts' views on cross-Strait relations

China Daily | Updated: 2024-05-20 07:17

The Taipei 101 skyscraper in Taipei. [Photo/Xinhua]

Editor's note: Promoting the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations is the correct way to maintain peace, promote common development, and benefit people on both sides of the Strait. Three experts share their views on the issue with China Daily.

DPP 'independence push' a serious threat to peace

By Zhu Songling

Known for proclaiming himself to be a "pragmatic worker for Taiwan independence", Lai Ching-te's "swearing-in" as leader of the Chinese island scheduled for Monday has triggered widespread concerns over the future of cross-Strait relations. There are fears that Lai may pursue his dream of "Taiwan independence" by leaning on the US' shoulder to counter the Chinese mainland. If he proceeds on this path after taking office, he would pose a serious threat to peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

The ruling Democratic Progressive Party on the island must realize that the path to "independence" is a dead end, doomed to failure. While the United States may use Taiwan as a pawn to check the mainland's peaceful rise and prevent the reunification of Taiwan with the motherland for its own narrow political ends, that does not mean unconditional US support for "Taiwan independence".

Why? Because even according to the US' "one-China policy", Taiwan is not a sovereign independent nation, and the US will not be able to establish "diplomatic relations" with Taiwan. Lai's attempts to strengthen ties with the US and establish formal relations with the US by visiting the White House to signal progress in the pursuit of "Taiwan independence" are delusional efforts and could bring disaster to Taiwan.

Although Washington has offered Taiwan some incentives, those are mainly motivated by its strategic competition with Beijing, instead of genuine support for "Taiwan independence".

Second, US politicians should refrain from sending the wrong signals to the Taiwan authorities, cease using Taiwan as a strategic bargaining chip against the mainland, and stop leveraging the Taiwan question to fulfill their political goals.

In recent years, some US politicians, driven by their electoral and other interests, have been using the "Taiwan card" more frequently, sending wrong signals to the Taiwan authorities. This shortsighted behavior not only exposes their duplicity, damaging the strategic trust between Beijing and Washington, but also gives wings to the DPP's fantasy of seeking "Taiwan independence", thereby escalating cross-Strait tensions.

The US should realize that a healthy Sino-US relationship benefits not only both countries and their peoples but also the world at large. There are a thousand reasons for the US to improve bilateral ties and not even one to worsen them. If the US continues to leverage the "Taiwan card" to push forward its geopolitical agenda, it will, instead of making any gains, plunge the region into greater danger and further deteriorate Sino-US relations.

The actions of the US and its allies in different regions of the globe have proven deeply problematic, significantly threatening peace. The Russia-Ukraine and Israel-Palestine conflicts have raised regional tensions, subjecting local people to the horrors of war. And the US is squarely to blame for exacerbating these situations.

The US has not fostered peace in the Ukraine crisis, plunging countless civilians deeper into suffering. Similarly, US intervention in the Israel-Palestine conflict has destabilized multiple governments, spurred terrorism and brought death and distress to the Palestinian people.

In these times of global instability, the US should reconsider its foreign intervention policies, and stop interfering in cross-Strait affairs. The complexity, severity, and sensitivity of the Taiwan question are such that any external interference could lead to severe consequences.

If the US continues to send the wrong signals on the Taiwan question, encouraging the island's pro-independence forces, it would provoke strong countermeasures from the mainland. So it should stop raising tensions over Taiwan and stop supporting pro-independence forces on the island in order to help maintain peace and stability in the region.

As for the DPP, it should face reality, abandon the illusion of achieving "Taiwan independence" with US support, and return to the correct path of promoting exchanges, and seek peaceful development across the Strait, enhancing the well-being of the island's residents. Taiwan's future and welfare can be secure only on the basis of the 1992 Consensus that there is only one China. Conversely, if the DPP relies on the US to seek "Taiwan independence", it will only push the island toward peril, bringing untold suffering upon its residents.

In other words, the DPP should stop daydreaming about achieving independence with the support of the US, because that will remain a daydream, and US politicians should cease sending the wrong signals to Taiwan and raising tensions across the Strait. By attempting to interfere in the Taiwan question, the US and its allies have destabilized the situation and raised the fears of conflict. For peace and stability across the Strait, the US should stop using Taiwan as a tool to confront the mainland. And compatriots on both sides of the Strait should work together to resolve the differences, strengthen cross-Strait ties, and contribute to the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

The author is a professor at the Institute of Taiwan Studies, Beijing Union University. The views don't necessarily represent those of China Daily.

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