Photo taken on Feb 28, 2022 shows the US Capitol building, seen through a barrier fence, in Washington, DC, the United States. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
Actions which may be presented as good in themselves are often hurtful when done with the intention of gaining advantages. Such is the case with the Joe Biden administration's playing of Ukraine against Russia. Although the gains sought by such means rarely, if ever, materialize, virtuous peacocking while being up to no good is a gambit that Washington never seems to tire of.
As part of the latest incarnation of such a ruse, US State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters, "We call upon the PRC to behave responsibly and to not manufacture pretenses to increase pressure on Taiwan," after the US updated the Taiwan fact sheet displayed on its website on May 5.
"There's been no change in our policy. All we have done is update a fact sheet, and that's something that we routinely do with our relationships around the world."
Clearly, butter won't melt in the administration's mouth, for the US Department of State has removed the explicit declaration that the US "does not support Taiwan's independence, replacing it with the more ambiguous assertion that it "has a longstanding One China policy, which is guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, the three US-China Joint Communiques and the Six Assurances".
Playing such word games to serve the purpose of provoking China over the Taiwan question, shows the Joe Biden administration's lack of both acumen and integrity, since the US president has repeatedly assured Beijing that the US does not support "Taiwan independence".
The three China-US joint communiques detail the political consensus between the two countries on one China. By bundling them with the Six Assurances and the Taiwan Relations Act, the Biden administration is simply thimblerigging.
The Six Assurances and the Taiwan Relations Act were the fruits of the great deal of anti-communist money that was glad-handed around Washington during the Cold War to form a lobby opposed to the US' recognition of the mainland. They set out the implementation of the United States policy with regard to Taiwan on the basis that its status is unsettled.
If this sounds familiar, it should. It is a similar situation today. Harboring a malicious intention to play the Taiwan card and exacerbate its strategic pressure against China, today's incarnation of the anti-Beijing lobby in Washington has worked hand in glove with the secessionists in Taipei to try by sleight of hand to sell a false narrative linking the Ukraine crisis with the Taiwan question with Beijing in the role of villain. As part of this, the State Department's change to its fact sheet is the latest move by the US to backpedal on its political promises by hollowing out the one-China principle, as a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said.
But no matter what tricks the US plays, it cannot change the historical truth that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China of which the government of the People's Republic of China is the only legitimate representative. This is a global consensus and an unshakable norm governing international relations, as such reunification is a historical inevitability.