Alex Azar, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, arrived in Taiwan on August 9 and began a 3-day-long visit. Such a move of the U.S. is a serious breach of its commitments pledged on the Taiwan question.
China is consistently and firmly opposed to the official interactions between the U.S. and Taiwan, and has lodged stern representations with the U.S. side.
It is only recently that the U.S. has announced that it would withdraw from the World Health Organization (WHO) and refused to do its part for global public health.
However, it now sends officials to Taiwan to discuss cooperation in combating the COVID-19 epidemic, which is merely another clumsy trick of the U.S. trying to politicize the pandemic.
The Taiwan question is the most important and sensitive issue in China-U.S. relations, and the one-China principle is the political foundation of the bilateral relationship.
In December 1978, the U.S. government accepted the three principles proposed by the Chinese government for the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, namely, the U.S. should sever “diplomatic relations” and abrogate the “mutual defense treaty” with the Taiwan authorities and withdraw U.S. military forces from Taiwan.
On this basis, the U.S. reached an agreement with China on properly handing Taiwan-related issues.
“The United States of America recognizes the Government of the People’s Republic of China as the sole legal government of China. Within this context, the people of the United States will maintain cultural, commercial and other unofficial relations with the people of Taiwan,” as stated clearly in the Joint Communiqué on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations issued by both countries on December 16, 1978.
On January 1, 1979, China and the U.S. formally established diplomatic relations. Normalization of China-U.S. relations was thus achieved.
China has repeatedly urged the U.S. to handle Taiwan-related issues prudently, stop any official exchanges and contact with Taiwan, and refrain from sending any wrong signal to separatist elements advocating “Taiwan independence”, so as not to disturb and damage the overall picture of China-U.S. relations.
It seems that the U.S. has recently launched repeated provocations against China on the Taiwan question and engaged in placing obstacles to China-U.S. relations.
In March, the U.S. signed into law the Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative (TAIPEI) Act of 2019, a bill expressing Washington’s support for Taiwan in strengthening its relationships with countries around the world.
Amid the international cooperation in combating the epidemic, the U.S., however, has tried to play the Taiwan card to malign China.
It has also continuously strengthened its military ties with Taiwan, promoted arms sales to Taiwan and hyped U.S.-Taiwan joint military training.
Playing the Taiwan card is actually a risky act of some American politicians to achieve their own political interests. It does not conform to the fundamental interests of the Chinese and American people and will undermine China-U.S. relations as well as peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.
There is only one China in the world, and Taiwan is an inseparable part of the Chinese territory—the one-China principle is a common consensus of the international community.
The Taiwan question concerns China’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and core interests.
The Chinese government and people are firm in their determination to safeguard China’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity, to oppose any foreign meddling in China’s internal affairs and to realize the reunification of the two sides across the Taiwan Strait.
China urges the U.S. side to abide by the one-China principle and the provisions of three China-U.S. joint communiqués, stop official interactions and contact of all kinds as well as the upgrading of substantive relations with the island, and handle Taiwan-related issues in a prudent and proper manner.
It will take resolute and powerful countermeasures against the unrighteous actions of the U.S. Any attempt that denies and challenges the “one-China principle” is doomed to fail.
(Zhong Sheng is a pen name often used by People’s Daily to express its views on foreign policy.)