Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the P.R.C Key Cooperative Research Institute for Policy Studies (2022-2024)

Xin Qiang, "Collusion with US places Taiwan secessionists in a more dangerous position"


(Source: Global Times, 2023-01-03)

Despite the military exchanges between the US and Taiwan's Democratic  Progressive Party (DPP) authorities, and despite their provocations  against the Chinese mainland, it will not change the fact that the  Chinese mainland's military power is overwhelmingly superior to that of  Taiwan island. Colluding with the US will only put the island's  secessionists in an increasingly dangerous position.

The  Financial Times reported Monday that a US military delegation made a  low-key visit to Taiwan in November to assess the island's military  strength and explore the benefits for Taiwan's military to engage in  closer cooperation with Washington. According to the article, the  delegation aimed to strengthen Taiwan's defenses enough to deter the  mainland from attempting a military attack.

This echoed the  announcement Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen made last week to extend the  period of mandatory military service for all eligible men from four  months to a year. Xin Qiang, director of the Taiwan studies center with  the Shanghai-based Fudan University, told the Global Times that such a  decision was made to boost Taiwan's own military strength against the  mainland - in other words, to use force to resist reunification and seek  independence, rather than relying solely on the promised support from  the US.

Some have argued US' urge or even pressure played a  particular role in Taiwan's military service extension. For Washington,  making Taiwan take more responsibility for itself can, to some extent,  reduce the burden on US politics and finance. This is a way to continue  provoking a confrontation between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits at  a much smaller cost.

In the National Defense Authorization Act  for Fiscal Year 2023, signed into law by US President Joe Biden on  December 23, the White House authorized $10 billion in security  assistance and $2 billion in military loans to the Taiwan region over  the next five years.

Offered military loans, Taiwan is asked to  pay for a protection racket presented by Washington, which plans to  protect the island half-heartedly. According to Xin, the US believes it  should not give Taiwan grants since the island does not lack money. On  the contrary, military-industrial complex hopes to rake in from the  island of Taiwan - a significant customer of US arms.

It is  vicious of the US to play the Taiwan card to stir up infighting within  the Chinese nation while the US just sits back and enjoys the benefits.  Compared to that, the DPP authorities appear to be pathetic and  abominable.

The island's authorities know it has to stick closely  to Washington since the latter supports it to resist reunification.  What the DPP can do is solicit foreign support, particularly from the  US. In addition, the Taiwan authorities use the issue of US arms sales  to persuade people on the island that the US will always have their  back. As a result, provocations from Taiwan independence forces may  escalate further.

However, Taiwan is nothing more than just a  pawn of Washington. The DPP is spending the Taiwan residents' money to  defend the interests of US hegemony and help the US to realize its goal  of containing China.

The US and Taiwan island will not stop their  collusion anytime soon. Experts anticipate more moves from Washington  to challenge the one-China principle in 2023, such as stepping up arms  sales and more Taiwan trips from US politicians. And this will only  place the island of Taiwan in a more insecure position, as the collusion  will only force the mainland to strengthen its military deterrence  against the island as a countermeasure. This is no good news for the  already shaking cross-Straits relations.

As some foreign media  outlets reported on Monday, the Chinese mainland sent 1,727 planes near  Taiwan in 2022, nearly doubling the number in 2021. The increase is a  normal reaction to Washington's provocative actions on the Taiwan  question. It should have also sent a clear and powerful signal to the US  and Taiwan secessionists: If they keep strengthening military  cooperation or their relations substantively, the PLA will make more  moves than sending warplanes near the island.

As time goes by, it  will only become more and more difficult for the US to play the Taiwan  card to suppress China and for the DPP authorities to seek independence  by colluding with foreign forces. No matter what kind of weapons and  equipment the US sells to Taiwan island, there is no way to shake the  strength and determination of the Chinese military to solve the Taiwan  question, or for Taiwan to use military force to resist reunification,  noted Chinese military expert and TV commentator Song Zhongping.