U.S. should stop its gesture politics disguised by epidemic control

Some U.S. politicians have frequently played the “Taiwan card” since the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic, trying to interfere in China’s domestic affairs with excuse of the disease.

Recently, three U.S. senators visited Taiwan, promising to donate 750,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses. After that, other U.S. senators announced to convene a hearing on strengthening the so-called U.S.-Taiwan relationship, calling the U.S. administration to expedite its vaccine commitment for Taiwan and stand ready to field additional requests from the region.

That was quite a show put on by these U.S. politicians. However, it’s an obvious political calculation to sow discord between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan and destroy peace in the Taiwan Strait.

Taiwan is facing serious threats from COVID-19. The mortality rate in the region is way higher than the global average, and people’s lives and health at stake there. To control the spread of virus remains the most urgent task for the region.

The central government of China places high importance on the health and wellbeing of the Taiwan compatriots, and has always expressed its readiness to offer as much assistance as possible for them to tide over difficulties, and provide them the COVID-19 vaccines produced by the Chinese mainland that have been listed by the World Health Organization (WHO) for emergency use.

Over 80 percent of the residents in Taiwan said they are willing to receive the vaccines from the Chinese mainland. However, Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) ignored the voice of the people and is obsessed with politicizing the vaccines. While making excuses to prevent the Taiwan compatriots from using vaccines from the Chinese mainland, the political party joined hands with some U.S. politicians to sow discord between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan under the disguise of epidemic control, showing indifference to the health and lives of the people in Taiwan.

U.S.’ vaccine aid for Taiwan is a camouflage, and what the White House truly aims at is to interfere in China’s domestic affairs.

Washington’s vaccine offer is merely a slogan and will never be realized. Recently, some people suggested that the White House distribute its vaccine resources to “key regions” for largest strategic results. Out of such intention, some U.S. politicians took Taiwan as a priority.

Even if the 750,000 doses of American vaccines are delivered as promised, they are chickenfeed for the 23 million people in Taiwan. By hyping the so-called assistance, which is both short in number and never executed, the U.S. just exposed its political intentions.

The Chinese government will never accept such political show that aims at interfering in China’s domestic affairs, and neither will the Chinese people.

Over the past year, the White House has frequently challenged the one-China principle with the COVID-19 epidemic as an excuse – sending its health officials to Taiwan, proposing to list Taiwan in the World Health Assembly (WHA), and announcing its vaccine aid for the region in a high profile. However, the U.S. is never to succeed in its efforts to sow discord between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan. The WHA refused to include a proposal on Taiwan’s participation in its agenda, which fully indicated that the one-China principle is recognized by the international community and tolerates no challenge.

Some U.S. politicians, taking Taiwan question as a tool to pressure China, are playing with fire. They obviously underestimated China’s resolution and determination to safeguard its national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Taiwan question is the most important and sensitive issue for China-U.S. relations, and the one-China principle remains a political foundation for the relationship between the two countries and a limit that should never be crossed. Washington must understand that the Chinese government will never compromise on Taiwan question, and China’s resolve to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity is unshakable.

The U.S. said it follows the one-China policy and abides by the three China-U.S. joint communiques. Therefore it shall walk the talk and immediately stop any form of official contact with Taiwan. It must handle Taiwan-related issues cautiously, and not send any wrong signal to “Taiwan independence” forces, so as to avoid further damage to China-U.S. relations, as well as the peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.

(Zhong Sheng is a pen name often used by People’s Daily to express its views on foreign policy.)