The United States House of Representatives passed the "Taiwan Assurance Act of 2019" and House Resolution 273 reaffirming America's commitment to Taiwan and the implementation of the Taiwan Relations Act Tuesday. China firmly opposes these actions by the United States. They are another risky political move by the United States, an attempt to interfere in China's internal affairs and obstruct China’s peaceful development. If the United States is determined to behave in this way, it will severely damage China-U.S. cooperation and threaten peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.
China and the U.S. officially established diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level on January 1, 1979 during the term of President Jimmy Carter. On the eve of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of these ties, Carter published an article in the Washington Post warning that "At this sensitive moment, misperceptions, miscalculations and failure to follow carefully defined rules of engagement" will create "a worldwide catastrophe." American politicians must be clear that any move aimed at containing China using the Taiwan issue will reach a dead end, for the following three reasons.
First, it has undermined the foundation for the development of ties between China and the United States. There are guidelines and rules to follow when countries try to manage their relationships with each other. They are the basis for the continuation, stability, and improvement of bilateral ties.
The basis for Sino-American relations as stated in the three joint communique is that there is but one China and Taiwan is part of China, with the government of the People's Republic of China as the only recognized legal government.
The U.S. House of Representatives has elevated the Taiwan Relations Act to an "assurance act" in an attempt to conduct the kind of military cooperation with Taiwan that is only accepted between sovereign states. This is a complete departure from the One China principle and a breach of basic international law and responsibility. Without this principle, how else can the development of China-U.S. ties be supported?
Second, the United States keeps trying to push China's limits on the Taiwan issue. Whenever there's a bump in the road of China-U.S. relations, the United States always brings the Taiwan issue to the table as a means to threaten, contain, and negotiate with China.
This has become the go-to trick for some American politicians. There's nothing wrong with politicians looking out for the best interests of their own countries and using their best efforts to bargain at the negotiating table, but the Taiwan issue never was, and never will be, a bargaining chip in China-U.S. relations.
Issues regarding Taiwan are China's internal affairs. They are part of China's core interests and the national identity of the 1.4 billion Chinese people. The United States will get nowhere by trying to test China's limits on the Taiwan issue.
Third, the U.S. has thrown the Taiwan Strait into turmoil and threatened regional peace and stability. Last year, the Democratic Progressive Party, which supports claims to Taiwan's so-called independence, came crashing down in the nine-in-one elections and faces bleak prospects in the 2020 election.
The United States played its Taiwan card at this sensitive moment and tried to extend an olive branch to Taiwan's separatist forces. American politicians should read former president Carter's article in the Washington Post. Carter wasn't scaremongering. If the United States mishandles the Taiwan issue, it could bring about conflict in the region, which would be a disaster for the world.
Last month, President Donald Trump made a phone call to former President Carter asking him for advice on how to deal with China. According to reports, one of Carter's suggestions was to avoid wars. If American politicians push China too far on the Taiwan issue and send warships to its waters, it will be China's cue for reunification.
President Xi Jinping has repeatedly said China is dedicated to pushing for further cooperation between the world's major countries, and hopes for mutual respect and peaceful coexistence without conflict. As one of the world's most important bilateral relationships, China-U.S. ties must move forward in a coordinated, cooperative, and stable way. This cannot and should not change. When it comes to the Taiwan issue, American politicians are warned not to underestimate the resolution of the Chinese people.
(The article is taken from the Chinese-language "Commentaries on International Affairs" published on May 9, 2019 on China Plus. This article reflects the author's view and not necessarily the view of China Military.)