The minister at the Chinese Embassy in Washington, Li Kexin, said Friday that he had told US lawmakers that the day US Navy vessels arrive in Kaohsiung will be the day the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) unifies Taiwan by force. His remarks have triggered an uproar in Taiwan, with protests from its "Ministry of Foreign Affairs" and Mainland Affairs Council.
Obviously frightened, the Taiwan authorities' reaction indicates they care about Li's words and lack faith in their invisible movement toward Taiwan's independence.
After the US Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2018 in September, which enables naval vessels of Taiwan and the US to pay mutual visits, Taiwan authorities have been both delighted and dubious about the bill.
The island under the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has become deficient of both direction and sense of security.
The Chinese mainland has never given up the option of Taiwan reunification by force, which is clear to people across the Taiwan Straits. But Taiwan is not sure what will prompt the PLA's actions while the DPP has been deceiving Taiwanese that the island will stay safe whatever it does.
Taiwan knows so little of the mainland's Anti-Secession Law. The DPP is already approaching the boundary of the law and leading Taiwan to a wrong direction. The sustainability of the island's development remains uncertain.
Li's words have sent a warning to Taiwan and drew a clear red line. If Taiwan attempts to hold an independence referendum or other activities in pursuit of de jure "Taiwan independence," the PLA will undoubtedly take action.
This is the cornerstone of Beijing's policy on Taiwan that can't be shaken and also the will of the entire Chinese nation.
It shouldn't be underestimated, otherwise, Taiwan's laissez-faire attitude will allow the DPP to make fatal mistakes.
After all, the mainland's determination to prevent Taiwan from gaining independence far outweighs the DPP's and overrides the US' play of the Taiwan card. The mainland has the military strength and strategic will to defy any challenge.
Li's words are like warning bells on Taiwan authorities considering independence by a salami-slicing strategy. Taiwan is facing what Peking faced in 1949 - being encircled by mainland forces. Any move that oversteps the boundary will be in vain.
The mainland certainly wants a peaceful reunification with Taiwan. But if Taiwan authorities brazenly defy the Anti-Secession Law, using force will be the only choice regardless of cost.
Taiwan authorities are playing a ridiculous trick to run counter to the trend of history. They should avoid misjudging the current situation and refrain from making the worst-case scenario happen.