Vague ‘one-China policy’ no excuse for secessionists

According to a spokeswoman for her office, Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen will transit through New York and Los Angeles on her way to and from Central America, leaving Taipei on March 29 and returning on April 7.

No matter what words Tsai and the United States use to describe her stopovers in the US on her way to and from Guatemala and Belize, they cannot disguise the provocative motivation for them. The essence of the transit is that Tsai is entering US territory to give credence to her pro-independence stance and bolster the collusion between the anti-China hawks in Washington and her pro-independence forces. The two sides are working hand in glove in a bid to take advantage of each other to advance their own agenda and interests.

Tsai is making the trip to Guatemala and Belize, as they are two of the only 14 states in the world to officially recognize Taiwan. In comparison, 181 countries have diplomatic relations with Beijing. She is paying the visit because one of the 14, Honduras, has just decided to cut official ties with Taipei and establish diplomatic relations with Beijing.

Tsai had already lost "diplomatic ties" with eight countries since she took office in 2016. Now she is about to lose a ninth. The remaining 13 will inevitably be cut and even the US "daddy" cannot prevent that.

Despite all its claims that it adheres to the US' one-China policy, the Joe Biden administration has been an enthusiastic player of the Taiwan card.

It has been mooted that Tsai will meet US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy during her stopover in California. This would be a kind of official contact between the US and Taiwan, something the US solemnly pledged not to have.

Once again, Washington is showing that its word means nothing. White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby even disingenuously claimed "there's no reason for China to overreact".

Beijing's position on such contacts remains firm and crystal clear. It opposes any official exchanges between Washington and Taipei in any shape or form.

The US pledges are essentially smoke and mirrors for its reneging on the commitments it made to Beijing. The one-China principle is unambiguous even to most worldly-wise bereft politicians in Washington.

Yet since many of them were lawyers before they entered the political field, it is no wonder that US politicians play word games and seek loopholes to wriggle out of their commitments.

Playing the Taiwan card has become routine for Washington as it seeks to confront China on almost all geopolitical and economic fronts. As such, how much can they expect from Beijing even if it does respond favorably to Washington's latest suggestion that the visits of the Biden administration's trade and finance chiefs and top diplomat to China should be put on the agenda at an early date.