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People's Daily Online

Washington is to blame for tensions in Taiwan Straits

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 08:18, August 22, 2022

BEIJING, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- Days after U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to China's Taiwan region, to which China responded with countermeasures, Washington has been going all out to sling mud at Beijing for being "irresponsible," "overreacting" and "conducting provocative military action."

Probably feeling guilty in the face of the righteous voices from the international community rallying behind the one-China principle, the United States has invoked international law to make its case.

Its slew of political stunts were indeed jaw-dropping. It was the United States who incited the trouble, created the crisis and escalated the situation. Now the troublemaker who orchestrated the malicious provocation is playing the victim and putting the blame on China, repeating its old ploy of a thief crying "stop the thief!"

The Taiwan question bears on China's sovereignty and territorial integrity. Is China supposed to be called responsible, reacting appropriately, and unprovocative if it pliantly swallowed the bitter pill?

China does not provoke trouble, but never flinches when trouble comes its way. When has China ever been vague or hesitant on issues concerning its core interests?

Various fancifully outrageous U.S. remarks can be boiled down to one slander: China is "unilaterally changing the status quo."

In international law, "status quo" refers to a factual or political state at a specific time, which only applies to the territorial division between countries and does not regulate the internal affairs of a country.

Taiwan is part of China's territory. Cross-Straits relations are China's internal affairs and do not involve the division of disputed territory between countries.

Washington frequently uses the "status quo" as a pretext to hide its evil intentions, which are to distort cross-Straits relations as state-to-state relations and create the erroneous illusion of "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan."

Taiwan has never been a sovereign country. There is only one China and both sides of the Taiwan Straits belong to one and the same China. This has been the status quo of Taiwan since ancient times. The Government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legal government of China and Taiwan is part of China. This is the status quo across the Taiwan Straits that has been there for decades.

The one-China principle is a clear definition of the status quo across the Taiwan Straits. To distort or challenge the one-China principle is to change the status quo across the Taiwan Straits. It is not China that is changing the status quo, but the United States and separatist forces in Taiwan. China's countermeasures are precisely aimed at maintaining peace across the Taiwan Straits and stability in the region.

From the perspective of international law, U.S. slanders and false accusations against China are utterly untenable.

The move of making accusations such as "provocative military action" and "unilateral use of force" in disregard of the fact that Taiwan is part of China's territory rather than an independent state, is intended to use rules that govern state-to-state relations such as prohibiting the "threat of force" and "unlawful use of force" to deal with the Taiwan question. It is a typical fraudulent trick of fishing in troubled waters.

According to international law, all countries have the obligation to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of other countries and not to interfere in their internal affairs. International law also gives every country the right to take necessary measures to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity and deter external interference.

Pelosi's visit is a blatant provocation by the U.S. side. China's military exercises and training activities in relevant waters are a necessary measure to counter external interference, thwart separatist attempts for "Taiwan independence," and safeguard China's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

China's military exercises are open, transparent and professional, and are in line with international law and established international practices. They are also fulfilling the sacred duty stipulated in the Constitution of the People's Republic of China, the Anti-Secession Law and the National Defense Law of the People's Republic of China.

The United States is a permanent member of the UN Security Council, and the world's leading power. No matter whether the United States does not even understand the basic legal concepts and the scope of their application, or it just plays dumb and feigns innocence while doing what it wishes without restraint, it is a very dangerous thing.

Some U.S. politicians are blatantly taking risks on the Taiwan question, and their ugly face of making constant trouble has once again made the international community clearly aware that the post-war international order and basic norms governing international relations are being threatened and challenged. China's countermeasures are not only defending its core national interests, but also vigorously safeguarding the principle of non-interference in other countries' internal affairs, international law and regional peace.

Having dealt with China for so many years, the United States should have a clear understanding of China's firm will to safeguard its national sovereignty and territorial integrity. China will not hesitate to fight back each time the U.S. side makes a serious provocation that violates China's sovereignty and interferes in China's internal affairs. China will never allow its sovereignty and territorial integrity to be trampled on and sabotaged.

Those U.S. politicians who are playing with fire on the Taiwan question should stop, or they will perish by it.

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