China's newly released white paper on the Taiwan question showcased the historical and inevitable trend of reunification, with 1.4 billion Chinese people's determination, sincerity in practicing "one country, two systems" with compatriots in Taiwan island, and China's increasing strength in preventing external interference, analysts said during a symposium held by one of China's highest-level think tanks on Friday.
The Institute of Taiwan Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences held a symposium on Friday with more than 30 experts on the Taiwan question gathering in Beijing to discuss the importance of the newly released white paper titled "The Taiwan Question and China's Reunification in the New Era."
It was published on Wednesday, following the tensions triggered by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's provocative visit to the island of Taiwan on August 2.
Analysts at the symposium pointed out that the white paper highlights the new context in the new era for China to deal with the Taiwan question and the inevitable historical trend for China to realize reunification despite challenges.
The white paper starts from the preamble, displaying the Chinese people's determination for reunification, noting that resolving the Taiwan question and realizing China's complete reunification is a shared aspiration of all the sons and daughters of the Chinese nation, and it is indispensable for the realization of China's rejuvenation and a historical mission of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
Huang Shujia, an expert from the Renmin University of China, said that China's national rejuvenation has become an inevitable trend and the mission to realize reunification is more urgent.
"While never before have the Chinese been so close to, confident in and capable of achieving the goal, separatist forces in the island and external forces have ramped up efforts in seeking independence," said Huang.
With this background, the newly released white paper answers questions on why we should speed up the reunification process, why we should ramp up efforts in fighting separatist forces in the island, what kind of reunification we are pursuing and in which way to realize it, and what role the people in Taiwan will play during the process of reunification. All these are questions that Chinese people and the international community have heatedly discussed in recent weeks, Huang said.
The white paper, which was not issued to merely respond to Pelosi's visit, had been in progress for a long time. It was released at such a sensitive time to make accurate and clear statements on China's policies on the Taiwan question when the whole world is closely watching what China will do and whether it will take the island back by force after its impressive military drills around the island ended, the expert said.
The PLA's recent military countermeasures to Pelosi's visit were also frequently mentioned during the symposium, with experts noting that the white paper's statements on how to realize reunification also showcased China's resolve for reunification and its sincerity in realizing it in a peaceful way.
"We will work with the greatest sincerity and exert our utmost efforts to achieve peaceful reunification. But we will not renounce the use of force, and we reserve the option of taking all necessary measures. This is to guard against external interference and all separatist activities," said the white paper.
Pelosi's visit to Taiwan violated the red line that was mentioned in the white paper, and China's purpose is to use military methods in a peaceful way to fight against separatist forces and external forces, and China will not take a step backward from the current process of reunification, said Zheng Jian, director of the Graduate Institute for Taiwan Studies of Xiamen University.
Zheng said that military force is the last resort and also a necessary method to promote peaceful reunification. When China's economy surpasses the US' and leaves it behind for a while, when China-US relations return to a balanced level, when the Chinese mainland's governance capability and the material and spiritual levels of civilization develop to a new level, people in Taiwan will have a new understanding of the mainland, and this is a chance for peaceful reunification.
However, as the white paper highlighted external forces' interference on the Taiwan question, analysts on Friday also warned that China should make full preparations for more frequent US exchanges with the separatist forces in Taiwan, increasing US presence in the region, and the collusion of US allies that pressures China over the Taiwan question.
The strategic competition around the Taiwan Straits between China and the US will be fiercer in the future and the current battle around Pelosi's provocative visit is the start. The US will increase arms sales to develop the island as a "porcupine" with an asymmetric warfare capability and promote exchanges of the US National Guard with the military in the island, said Yuan Zheng, deputy director and senior fellow of the Institute of American Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
However, many experts noted that there is little possibility for the US to have direct military clashes with China over the island of Taiwan if China is forced to take drastic measures to respond to the provocation of separatist elements or external forces.
"The US is a paper tiger" on the question of Taiwan, given China's increasing national strength and military advantage at the Taiwan Straits and as the island is not in its core interest, the US government will not sacrifice Americans for separatists in Taiwan, said Li Yihu, dean of Peking University's Taiwan Research Institute, noting that the US aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan left after Pelosi departed Taiwan, which also is a forecast of the future.
Moreover, the US has no legitimacy to interfere in the question of Taiwan and its trick of starting proxy wars, which it has used in Ukraine and other places in the world, will not succeed, said Li.
More than 170 countries have expressed adherence to the one-China principle and showed understanding of China's moves in defending sovereignty, which showed that China has advantages in both timing and justice in promoting reunification, analysts said.
They also noted that the white paper's interpretation on promoting "one country, two systems" in the island of Taiwan and calling on people in Taiwan to make the right choice at a crucial historical moment will further promote the trend of reunification.
For example, the white paper pointed out that foreign countries can continue to develop economic and cultural relations with Taiwan.
The contents of "one country, two systems" will be developed in promoting reunification as people in Taiwan who can fully attend the discussion in how to realize better governance of the island after reunification, Li said.
In recent years, we have reiterated the harm brought by separatist forces in the island of Taiwan and the US' interference, while paying less attention to interpret the benefits of reunification to people in the island, the region and the world.
The white paper solves such problems, said Zheng, noting that contents on the benefits will also encourage people in Taiwan to choose the right side of history.