US 'cognitive warfare' tricks stir up tension
Scholar says Washington misleading other countries on the Taiwan question
A leading Chinese scholar on Taiwan studies has urged various countries and their lawmakers and public to beware of the United States' misinformation campaign on the Taiwan question, saying that Washington may also bring trouble to those nations in the way it interferes in China's sovereignty and stirs up tension in the Taiwan Straits.
What the US has done to China is "cognitive warfare", said Yang Mingjie, director of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of Taiwan Studies and a member of the 14th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the country's top political advisory body.
In addition to giving a green light to visits to the island by US lawmakers and continuing arms sales to the Taiwan authorities, Washington is also giving rise to or standing behind paradoxical, inflammatory narratives and slogans in mass media and social networks that falsely equate Taiwan ? an inherent part of China ? with a sovereign country, the scholar said.
"However, back in the 1970s, Washington did recognize that there is only one China in the world and Taiwan is part of China as enshrined in milestone political documents underpinning the China-US diplomatic relations, such as the Shanghai Communique," he noted.
"As the US started to view China as its primary competitor in its national security and defense strategy ? which is a bad judgment ? Taiwan became a 'chess piece' serving its strategic competition against China," he said.
"As a result, officials in Washington in recent years have resorted to new discourses, such as those distorting or downplaying the one-China principle, to dodge its political, diplomatic and legal commitments, unveiling the hypocrisy beneath its Taiwan-related narratives and perception," he added.
The scholar warned that the US might apply such tricks and approaches to sovereignty issues and internal affairs of other countries, "as it has done frequently in history".
"The US surely will overthrow what it has committed to and turn a blind eye to crystal clear facts just for securing its own interests. This has long been a defining feature of US foreign and military policies," Yang said.
He noted China's own unstoppable pace in advancing its own development and its dedication to peaceful reunification, as reflected in the Government Work Report delivered on Sunday by Premier Li Keqiang.
In contrast to China's pursuit of peace, the US narratives and discourse regarding Taiwan are misleading other countries, legislative bodies and members of the public who are not familiar with the Taiwan question, he added.
Yang said that Washington's approach to the Taiwan question is subject to its domestic political landscape and the interests of political parties.
"It is the Chinese government that always has the big picture in mind. The peaceful reunification is intended for the safety and happiness of people across the Straits, for the overall prosperity in the region, and for championing the contemporary international law system," he said.
Beijing knows clearly the complexity of the Taiwan question in the context of China-US relations, and its approach to the question is comprehensive, holistic and, more important, responsible, the CASS scholar said.
"Being responsible does not mean that China will back off in terms of sovereignty. The country is always serious about its policies and responses concerning security and stability," he said.
"When our sovereignty suffers a major infringement, the Chinese will not retreat. History has proved that we will make a resolute, strong reaction in such a scenario," he added.