Victor Zhikai Gao
While the Taiwan Policy Act is making its way through the labyrinth in the congressional process in Washington, D.C., it is high time to ponder the consequences of this Act, if adopted and enacted, for China and the United States.
The TPA, in essence, will treat China’s Taiwan Province as a sovereign, independent country, not only in violation of the One China policy which has been the foundation upon which the China-US diplomatic relations have been built upon since January 1, 1979, but completely burying the One China policy of the US.
The fact that the TPA will give Taiwan the Non-NATO partner status, removing any restrictions on arms sales to Taiwan, requiring Senate approval for the US representative to Taiwan on a par as an ambassador to a sovereign country, requiring a change in the name of the US representative office in Taiwan tantamount to treating Taiwan as a sovereign, independent country, rather than a province of China, requiring the US government to promote Taiwan’s membership in many international organizations, including ultimately at the UN itself, and many other provisions, will inflict a mortal wound to the integrity of China-US diplomatic relations.
China will spare no efforts to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China. In more recent years, there are people in Taiwan and the US who keep saying that the PRC in China’s mainland and the ROC in China’s Taiwan Province have never been subjugated to each other. They forget to ask one crucial question: why? The real and the only truth should be known to the whole world: the civil war in the latter part of 1940s in China, giving rise to the founding of the PRC in 1949 and the fleeing from China’s mainland to China’s Taiwan Province by the National government in 1949, was never brought to an official and legal end. Any attempt by the US to promote the substantive independence of Taiwan, as this TPA will surely do, may most likely ignite the resurrection of the un-finished civil war in China. The US betted on the wrong horse in 1949; the US switched diplomatic recognition from the ROC in Taiwan to China in 1979; and, in more recent years, the US has been hollowing out the One China policy, smaller steps followed by bigger steps. History may record if the last straw which will bury America’s One China policy will most likely be the TPA.
What will be the likely consequences of the TPA, if ever adopted and enacted?
The US most likely will forfeit its privilege of having diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China. No one in Washington, D.C. should pretend to be ignorant of the fact that the mutual diplomatic recognition between China and the US since 1979 has profoundly shaped the world for mankind as a whole.
China will never give any country, anywhere in this world, any chance of diplomatically recognizing One China, One Taiwan, which will in essence tear China asunder and into pieces.
The TPA, if adopted and enacted, will also be reasonably construed as an act of high hostility against China and against the Chinese people, including both the 1.42 billion people in China’s mainland as well as the 23 million people in China’s Taiwan Province. History will also record if the TPA, if adopted and enacted, will constitute a declaration of war by the US against China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and trigger a whole series of events which may completely and profoundly reshape the world, the world order, and mankind as a whole for generations to come.
At critical, watershed moments like this, China has an age-tested saying to alert of the dire consequences which may lie ahead: Don’t say [in the future, after the events] that no fore-warning has been given [beforehand].
For years, I have been advocating the “Inevitable Peace”, in rebuke of the “Destined to War” fallacy, for the two largest economies and the two most impactful countries in the world. This is the time for both China and the US to make the inevitability inevitable, and to make the false fallacy false. We need to do this for both China and the US, for our generation and many generations to come.
The ball right now is in Washington, D. C.