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Beijing makes it clear that there is absolutely no space for separatism: China Daily editorial

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-05-23 20:40

As a tried and true radical secessionist, Taiwan's new administrative head Lai Ching-te will have known just how provocative his inauguration speech was.

He will therefore know that he is responsible for Beijing having to signal its resolve to safeguard the nation's sovereignty and territorial integrity by force if necessary.

The People's Liberation Army commenced a military drill around the island shortly after Lai delivered his "pro-independence" peppered speech at his inauguration in Taipei on Monday.

Lai should not be so smitten by the attention lavished on him by Washington as to ignore the differences between these PLA drills and those in August two years ago following then US House speaker Nancy Pelosi's ill-intentioned visit to Taipei at the invitation of his predecessor Tsai Ing-wen.

The military drill demonstrates PLA's powerful joint combat capabilities such as joint sea-air combat readiness patrols, joint seizure of comprehensive battlefield control, and joint precision strikes on key targets. These capabilities are not within the reach of the Taiwan armed forces. Lai should discard the fantasy that any external forces can "come to his rescue".

It is foreseeable that in the early days of the Lai authorities, both sides of the Taiwan Strait will try to express their positions in various ways. But Beijing's bottom line is clear.

Since the island on its own does not have the means to prevent national reunification by force, Lai and his like-minded ilk are betting the well-being of the island's residents on the US' support for their cause. But Lai surely has enough acumen to know that becoming entangled in the schemes of Washington means falling into the trap of its games. The mess that results from that, whatever the degree, will be beyond their ability to clean up as they will be nothing but puppets on string.

That Lai knows that it will be the Taiwan people that will bear the main brunt of a gamble that is doomed to failure was evident in his inauguration speech as he cited the support of "allies", the island's economic strength and "security" muscle in a bid to boost public confidence in the disastrous course he depicted.

That he spent considerable time and energy covering the fact that the DPP lost in both the island's local elections and the legislative body election exposes his concerns about the extent of popular support for his "pro-independence" cause.

Many Taiwan people see only too clearly the dead end that Lai is leading the island to, and the price they will have to pay to get there. Ultimately, it is the residents on the island who are being asked to stake the secessionist's wager on the island being an exception to the US' hypocrisy and callousness.

The necessary measures Beijing takes to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity are in line with international practice and law.

Beijing hopes to achieve the reunification of the motherland through peaceful means as much as anyone. It is willing to create broad space for peaceful reunification. But Lai and the DPP should realize there is no room for separatist activities, and reunification is inevitable.

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