Any country's desire for a peaceful resolution of the Taiwan question is appreciated. However, if such a goal is listed as a strategic objective, then it is nothing short of blatant meddling in China's internal affairs, and amounts to a direct challenge to sovereignty, territorial integrity and state security.
Such is the case with a statement issued by the United States and Japan on Saturday, which aims "to encourage the peaceful resolution of issues concerning the Taiwan Straits through dialogue" as one of their 12 common strategic objectives in the Asia-Pacific region.
This is the first time that the Taiwan question has been explicitly mentioned in the two countries' alliance. This is an irresponsible and reckless move that will have grave consequences.
Although the aim of the strategy is to help maintain stability in the Taiwan Straits, this joint statement will instead become a destabilizing factor by sending the wrong signal to independence forces on the island.
Any move that has the potential to embolden Taiwan's independence forces will further strain cross-Straits relations, rather than help reach a peaceful resolution to the question.
The ill-intentioned statement will work this way.
Chen Tan-sun, Taiwan's "foreign minister," has reportedly said that the US-Japan statement "would provide Taiwan with greater confidence over its security."
A Cold War relic, the US-Japan security alliance, whose own relevance is questionable, should not go beyond its bilateral framework and meddle in others' internal issues.
It is obvious that America's deliberately "ambiguous" position on Taiwan, which features a one-China policy and the Taiwan Relations Act, cannot facilitate the settlement of the Taiwan question.
The latest move shows that Washington is officially enlisting Tokyo's help in its designs for Taiwan.
However, both Washington and Tokyo should know that China will not budge or waver when it comes to the Taiwan question, which is one of its core national issues.
Besides contributing negatively to the stability in the Taiwan Straits, Sino-US and Sino-Japanese relations are also among the causalities of this statement.
In particular, Japan's official shift in its stance on the Taiwan question, although only a minor one, is expected to put one more icy coating on the still chilly Sino-Japanese relations at a time when both countries are expecting to see improvements.
No other people on the earth are more eager to see the peaceful settlement of the Taiwan question than the Chinese.
If the United States and Japan really understood this and really wanted to contribute positively to this cause, they should "see to their commitments towards the Taiwan question with practical actions," as Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said, instead of bringing disturbances to the region by meddling in another country's internal affairs and sending the wrong signals to Taiwan's independence forces.
(China Daily February 22, 2005)