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US meddling raises risks across Straits

《中国日报》 2022-08-25

As the Chinese mainland strives to achieve the peaceful reunification of the two sides of the Taiwan Straits, it's interference from the United States that has increased risks, experts warned.

They made the remarks at a seminar organized by the Institute of Taiwan Studies under Tsinghua University, on Wednesday in Beijing, which was attended by more than 20 experts via video link.

They discussed the development of the Taiwan question and situation across the Straits since the visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi earlier this month. They agreed that the visit harmed Sino-US ties and prompted countermeasures from the mainland.

Xin Qiang, deputy director of the Center for American Studies at Fudan University, said that Pelosi's visit to Taiwan seriously hurt the already fragile strategic trust between China and the US, since the Joe Biden administration did not do its best to prevent it, which will damage the bilateral relations.

If US policy toward China maintains its confrontational approach and the US continues its provocative behaviors concerning the Taiwan question, then China will have no choice but to take decisive countermeasures, he said.

Wang Yingjin, a professor at the School of International Relations at Renmin University of China, said the current situation in cross-Straits relations and the process of national reunification are fundamentally different from that of the past, which is reflected in the intensified confrontations among the two sides of the Taiwan Straits, China and the US, and China and the West.

Such situations across the Straits have increased the complexity of resolving the Taiwan question and the risks in the Taiwan Straits are rising, he said.

Li Peng, dean of the Graduate Institute for Taiwan Studies at Xiamen University, said national reunification is an inevitable requirement for national rejuvenation and the mainland will work to constantly accumulate circumstances conducive to reunification.

China said in a white paper issued this month that achieving national reunification by peaceful means is the first choice in resolving the Taiwan question, and the use of force would be the last resort taken under compelling circumstances.

Li said that how to balance and choose between the two means depends on many factors, including whether the mainland is fully prepared for non-peaceful means and the integrated development across the Straits.

Li Zhenguang, deputy director of the Institute of Taiwan Studies at Beijing Union University, said that at present, the two sides of the Straits are still rational and no war has happened, but there is still a possibility of war in the future.

Whether the Taiwan Straits will lead to war depends not on Taiwan but the US. But I believe that China and the US have the ability to prevent such extreme situations, he said.

Chao Chien-min, a professor from the College of Social Sciences of the Chinese Culture University in Taiwan, said Pelosi's visit to Taiwan has made relations between the two sides even more fragile.

Although the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations and peaceful reunification remains the mainstream official discourse, the possibility of armed conflict is increasing, he said.

The Biden administration has made some concessions on the Taiwan question, such as repeatedly claiming that it does not support Taiwan independence, but it seems unable to control the anti-China forces in the US, which has brought great uncertainties to cross-Straits relations, he added.