China’s legitimate claim over Taiwan & US provocations | By Dr Mehmood-ul-Hassan Khan

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China’s legitimate claim over Taiwan & US provocations

RIGHT from the beginning, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has legitimate right on Taiwan.

However, constant provocations of the US and UK have once again attempted to internationalize the Taiwan question.

In a regular press briefing, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian termed the USA and UK conflict contingency plans in the Taiwan Strait as an attempt to interfere in the domestic affairs of China.

Zhao urged that as an integral part of the US government, the US Congress should strictly abide by the one-China policy pursued by the US.

He upheld that if House Speaker Pelosi visits Taiwan it would be a serious violation of the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China-US joint communiqués.

Moreover, China stressed that the US not to arrange the visit and stop official exchanges, stop creating tension across the Taiwan Strait and take concrete actions to fulfill the US commitment of not supporting Taiwan secessionism.

However, if the US insists on going its own way, China will take firm and forceful measures to firmly safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The US must bear all the consequence of the visit,” Zhao said.Zhao added that the U.S. has been liaison with some regional countries to hype up Taiwan-related issues, and such acts undermine the peace and stability in the region.

He labeled the Taiwan question as purely China’s internal affair, which allows no interference from external forces.

He said the US and relevant countries should stop interfering in China’s internal affairs, abide by the one-China principle and prudently handle Taiwan-related issues.

The increasing and emerging honeymoon relations of Taiwan authorities with the US and UK have started a new round of tension.

Moreover, US 5th arms sale to Taiwan authorities have further aggravated the situation in the region.

On its part, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) monitored a US destroyer as it sailed through the Taiwan Strait.

Its spokesperson slammed the U.S. as a “disruptor” of peace and stability. Reportedly, the US Benfold, a guided-missile destroyer, transited the strait in what the US calls a “freedom of navigation operation.

” According to senior Colonel Shi Yi the PLA Eastern Theater Command maintains high alert at all times and is fully prepared to defend Chinese sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Most recently, the US carried out two such operations in the South China Sea despite China’s repeated warnings.

The PLA said it drove away the U.S. warship when it sailed near the Xisha Islands. Shi was of the opinion that the constant provocation and showing off by the US fully demonstrated that it is a maker of security risks and a disruptor of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.

Seemingly, by airing the possibility of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visiting Taiwan next month, Washington is testing Beijing’s reaction.

It was originally planned that she would visit the island in April, but her infection with the novel coronavirus postponed it.

There have been numerous stealthy visits of some US lawmakers and former government officials to the island, which were announced after their arrival.

However, the proposed visit by Pelosi has been broadcast well in advance both times. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman labelled the Taiwan question as the most sensitive of China’s core interests which would be strongly opposed by Beijing as it would seriously break the US’ pledge to respect the one-China principle, inflict serious damage on China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and seriously shake the political foundation of Sino-US relations.

Most recently, while meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Bali, the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken assured that the US does not support “Taiwan independence”, and it is committed to managing the risk factors in bilateral relations.

White House Security Advisor Jake Sullivan also conveyed similar messages to Chinese top diplomat Yang Jiechi in their meeting in Luxembourg last month.

Now some regional security experts are of the view that if she intends to make a blatant provocation against China, she would spark a much more dangerous incident than the Taiwan Strait Crisis in 1996, and it would cause a huge setback for China-US ties.

In this connection, many Chinese security experts termed the proposed visit as serious issue that would be strategic level provocation so the response would definitely be “not only military but also strategic,” and the consequences would be hard for the US, which is under serious economic pressure, to bear.

The Chinese Foreign Minister Wang urged that proposed visit of the US House Speaker would be a blatant double standard.

It would be a malicious provocation against China’s sovereignty and gross interference in China’s internal affairs, and would send an extremely dangerous political signal to the outside world Wang further added.

To conclude, reportedly the resurgence of Pelosi’s planned Taiwan tour surfaced after US government approved a proposed $108 million arms sale of technical and equipment support to the Taiwan authorities, the fifth of its kind under the Biden Administration.

The reports come amid former US Defence Secretary under the Trump Administration Mark Esper’s Taiwan tour.

The Pelosi’s proposed visit may be serving the Democrats’ agenda to add more leverage for the mid-term elections but that would destabilize the region.

The 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China will be soon held thus Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan would be disastrous for the US and China.

On the other hand, Chinese State Councilor and Defence Minister General Wei Fenghe said in a speech delivered at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore that if anyone dares to split Taiwan out of China, China will not hesitate to fight.

“We will fight at all costs. We will fight to the very end. This is the only choice for China,” Wei said.

Apparently, the proposed visit of Pelosi would start another sever tension in the region which would have serious socio-economic, geopolitical and geostrategic slipover repercussions for the region and beyond.

It seems that the US desires to seek more and more Chinese diplomatic cooperation on issues related to Iran, North Korea and Russia would be at its lowest ebbs.

—The writer is Director, the Centre for South Asia & International Studies Islamabad & regional expert, China, CPEC & BRI.

 

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