The US President Donald Trump on Mar.16 signed the Taiwan Travel Act, which had already been passed by the US Senate and the House of Representatives, marking the law came into effect. The pan-Green camp of Taiwan has been looking forward to this day for a long time.
The Taiwan Travel Act will encourage the island's Tsai Ing-wen administration and the "Taiwan independence" forces. In the long run, it is probable that high-level officials will visit each other under the law. The Chinese mainland side should not have any illusions that the Trump administration will not actually implement the law.
However, this does not mean that the strategic landscape of the Taiwan Strait has changed, nor does it mean that the chip of "Taiwan independence" has suddenly increased. The Chinese mainland's control over the situation in the Taiwan Strait continues to increase. Beijing is getting more capable of strangling the "Taiwan independence" concept in the international community. The People's Liberation Army (PLA) of China can take decisive action against “Taiwan independence” when necessary and achieve victory under the Anti-Secession Law. These are real and will not be reversed.
The Taiwan Travel Act is precisely the issue of China-US relations. It is a gesture of the US dissatisfaction against the rise of China. It is a public declaration that Washington no longer abides by the previous framework of China-US relations and is prepared to use various means to strengthen the game with China. It is also a practical step indicating that the US can't wait to create new tools to put pressure on China.
It needs to be recognized that the language used by American elites in talking about China is getting tougher and harder. Several major US strategic reports have listed China as a major strategic competitor, and the US is formulating a large-scale policy to pressure trade with China. Now that the Taiwan Travel Act has come into effect, all this is formulating a strong US revisionist impulse in China-US relations.
We also have to give up an illusion about China-US relations, that is, that we can change the attitude of the US and persuade it to change its course by giving up small concessions, enabling us to endure unstable periods of China-US relations.
We must make it clear that the change in the US strategic mentality toward China will happen in a short period of time. China must face the reality and respond to changes so that our response will be firm and steady.
First, we must calmly accept the ups and downs and even shocks in China-US relations, and redefine the "normal state" of it. We should not over-emphasize the significance of the "friendly atmosphere" of the two countries, nor concede or sacrifice resources for the sake of such an atmosphere.
Second, we should focus on the essence of China-US relations. Our fundamental goal is to maintain China's growth rate much faster than the US’ for a long time to come; we should not focus on gaining respect from the US or be concerned about how stable the China-US relations is.
Third, we should not take the initiative to upgrade the conflict with the US, but equally will never make any uncompromising concessions. We do not take the initiative to provoke, but we must be brave enough to respond. We must not worry about the intensification of the conflict because of our response.
Fourth, China is a nuclear power and has a strong overall national power. We must firmly believe that the US authorities do not dare to go too far in provoking China. We should have such a strategic determination that everything else is trivial as long as there is no large-scale war between China and the US.
Fifth, as far as the Taiwan issue is concerned, we must use more of our strengths, including destroying Taiwan’s diplomatic relations, increasing military pressure on Taiwan, and decisively cracking down on "Taiwan independence" forces.
We cannot allow things that we cannot control, such as the US officials sent to Taiwan, to become the center of our attention. Otherwise, we will be led by Washington. We must introduce more proactive measures so that the Taiwan authorities will not be able to offset the negative consequences of the exchange of visits by the US and Taiwan officials.
China-US relations are an example of unprecedented relations between big national powers. Both sides are not quite clear about their direction or controllability. As a relatively weak party, China prefers to maintain the stability of China-US relations. This is inevitable.
However, China is also very powerful. If the relations goes south in an all-round manner, it would also be unacceptable for the US and its people. Therefore, China should treat China-US relations with an unfettered attitude. China will never provoke but it will never be afraid to fight back. China is ready for whatever China-US relations may require.
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