(TibetanReview.net, Jan24, 2017) – China has made it clear Jan 22 that Taiwan may have to pay the ultimate price if US President Donald Trump uses it as a bargaining chip in negotiations with Beijing, reported the country’s official mouthpiece globaltimes.cn Jan 22, citing a government think tank. The report also cited experts associated with the government as saying the Chinese mainland should be militarily prepared for “extreme moves” by Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen and the worst cross-Straits situation after Donald Trump became US president on Jan 20.
As to what may be taken as “extreme moves” by Tsai, the report quoted Zhang Wensheng, a research fellow at the Taiwan Research Institute of Xiamen University, as saying, “The island may seek independence by amending its referendum law, attempt to gain more diplomatic room with the US and provoke cross-Straits tensions by inviting pro-Tibet and pro-Xinjiang independence forces to Taiwan.”
The Taiwan Referendum Law of 2003 was enacted with the declared intention to enhance direct democracy. However, some see it as providing a legitimate way for Taiwan to declare independence.
China has made it clear that it is willing to sacrifice any other national interest to prevent Taiwan’s independence. The report cited Yang Lixian, deputy secretary-general of the National Society of Taiwan Studies, as saying that Taiwan being part of the mainland’s core interests, “the mainland can make economic, military and diplomatic sacrifices to safeguard national sovereignty when confronting the US”.
On the other hand, he has added, Taiwan may have to sacrifice itself if Trump uses it as a bargaining chip in negotiations with China.
In this connection the report noted that Tsai had sent an 11-man delegation led by former premier Yu Shyi-kun to Trump’s inauguration, conveying the Taiwan people’s and government’s desire for increased cooperation and exchanges with the US, citing a Taiwan-based Central News Agency report Jan 17.
The report noted that Taiwan’s former president Ma Ying-jeou (2008-2016) had also sent a delegation to attend the inauguration ceremony of former US President Barack Obama in 2013 without Chinese mainland opposition. But this time China reacted differently “because Tsai’s refusal to follow Ma’s stance and accept the one-China principle,” the report quoted Yang as saying.
The report also quoted Yu Zhengsheng, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, as having said at an annual meeting of central and local officials in charge of Taiwan-related affairs, “The Chinese mainland will continuously adhere to the 1992 (one-China) Consensus, safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and maintain the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations.”