Straits drill to de­ter sep­a­ratists

China Daily - - VIEWS -

Edi­tor’s note: The Chi­nese navy will hold a live-fire drill in the Tai­wan Straits on Wed­nes­day, days af­ter it or­ga­nized a large naval pa­rade in the South China Sea. Two ex­perts share their views on the navy drill with China Daily’s Yao Yuxin. Ex­cerpts fol­low: Help Tai­wan com­pa­tri­ots but strictly deal with Tsai Cross-Straits re­la­tions have been at a low ebb due to the Demo­cratic Pro­gres­sive Party’s pur­suit of “Tai­wan in­de­pen­dence” since it took of­fice in May 2016, and have de­te­ri­o­rated fur­ther af­ter the ag­gres­sive Lai Ching-te be­came the is­land’s ex­ec­u­tive head in Septem­ber 2017.

In a way, there­fore, the live-fire drill in the Tai­wan Straits on Wed­nes­day is the main­land’s re­sponse to those seek­ing “in­de­pen­dence” of the is­land. And it is a warn­ing that the sit­u­a­tion will fur­ther worsen and the trou­ble mon­gers will face se­vere pun­ish­ments once they cross the red line.

Ig­nor­ing peo­ple’s in­ter­ests and achieve­ments, which the pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ment paid great heed to, the Tsai Ing-wen ad­min­is­tra- tion on the is­land has re­fused to rec­og­nize the 1992 Con­sen­sus and thus jeop­ar­dized cross-Straits ties. So, while help­ing Tai­wan com­pa­tri­ots with more fa­vor­able poli­cies such as the lat­est 31 mea­sures giv­ing the Chi­nese main­land and Tai­wan res­i­dents equal treat­ment, Bei­jing should deal with the Tsai ad­min­is­tra­tion with a firm hand and take mea­sures to de­ter the sep­a­ratists from cre­at­ing more trou­ble.

As part of its po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic agenda to curb China’s rise, the United States has been stir­ring up ten­sion across the Straits in re­cent months by, for ex­am­ple, pass­ing the Tai­wan Travel Act that al­lows “mu­tual vis­its of all lev­els of of­fi­cials” be­tween Wash­ing­ton and Taipei, and pro­motes the con­struc­tion of a new build­ing for the Amer­i­can In­sti­tute As­so­ci­a­tion in Tai­wan.

Also, the mil­i­tary drill sends a mes­sage to the US that it should stop back­ing the sep­a­ratists on the is­land, be­cause once its wrong poli­cies prompt the sep­a­ratists to cross the red line, the sit­u­a­tion could be­come very dif­fi­cult for even the US to han­dle.

The main­land has re­peat­edly made it clear that it seeks peace­ful cross-Straits re­la­tions but only un­der the one-China prin­ci­ple. And the live-fire drill is an im­por­tant strate­gic step to warn Tai­wan sep­a­ratists that they should mend their ways. Mil­i­tary prow­ess can pro­mote uni­fi­ca­tion Mil­i­tary ex­er­cises are held pri­mar­ily to en­hance a mil­i­tary’s com­pre­hen­sive com­bat ca­pa­bili- ty. Apart from that, the live-fire drill in the Tai­wan Straits on Wed­nes­day is also aimed at pre­vent­ing Tai­wan “in­de­pen­dence” seek­ers from caus­ing more harm to na­tional unity by cross­ing the red line.

The drill has to reach a cer­tain scale to demon­strate Bei­jing’s re­solve to de­ter the is­land’s sep­a­ratists and safe­guard na­tional in­ter­ests. But the fact that the mil­i­tary drill was an­nounced by the Fu­jian Mar­itime Safety Ad­min­is­tra­tion rather than some higher level au­thor­ity — since the wa­ters are un­der the ju­ris­dic­tion of Fu­jian prov­ince — in­di­cate the main­land is treat­ing the sit­u­a­tion ra­tio­nally, un­like the cross-Straits cri­sis in 1996. Al­though the sep­a­ratists have been con­sis­tently mak­ing provoca­tive moves, the main­land is still wait­ing for more ra­tio­nal voices on the is­land to rise in sup­port of the 1992 Con­sen­sus.

It has al­ways been a pri­or­ity for Bei­jing to main­tain peace­ful and pros­per­ous cross-Straits ties. On the one hand, Wash­ing­ton has never ceased to trig­ger tensions across the Straits to ful­fill its own strate­gic in­ter­ests, es­pe­cially with Bei­jing mak­ing great progress on the eco­nomic and mil­i­tary fronts.

China fol­lows the mil­i­tary prin­ci­ple of proac­tive de­fense, and its navy’s mis­sion is to safe­guard the coun­try’s ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity and sovereignty, as well as to ful­fill its in­ter­na­tional obli­ga­tions. And to safe­guard its na­tional in­ter­ests, China is de­vel­op­ing its navy.

This should be a stern warn­ing to the is­land’s sep­a­ratists that they should de­sist from cre­at­ing more trou­ble, and not for­get that the US will aban­don them lock, stock and bar­rel once tensions spi­ral out of con­trol and they no longer serve its in­ter­ests.

Li Zhen­guang, a pro­fes­sor at the In­sti­tute of Tai­wan Stud­ies, Bei­jing Union Uni­ver­sity

Wang Xiaox­uan, a Bei­jing-based ex­pert on mil­i­tary af­fairs

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.