Residents in Hong Kong sign a petition in support for the national security legislation on May 23, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]
That Joseph Wu, "foreign minister" in the pro-independence Tsai Ing-wen administration of Taiwan, in an interview with a US media outlet, warned the Chinese mainland that it should not assume the island cannot withstand its blow, shows the necessity of the meeting in Beijing three days later to obverse the 15th anniversary of the enactment of the Anti-Secession Law.
After the country's top legislature passed a draft decision last week to close a national security loophole in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region by introducing a national security legislation for the SAR, it is understandable that those of Wu's ilk turned to the United States to seek reassurance of protection. In fact, Wu said in the interview, "If Hong Kong falls, Taiwan might probably be the next".
The truth is neither Hong Kong nor Taiwan will fall to guiles and stratagem of secessionists or their foreign backers, as Taiwan and Hong Kong residents and their mainland compatriots will never allow that to happen.
The fact that the meeting in Beijing on Friday, presided by the chair of the top legislature, was held immediately after the annual sessions of the top legislature and political advisory body in the Great Hall of the People, and was attended by senior officials from all related departments — from the legislature and judiciary to the military — reflects the significance the State attaches to sending a clear warning to the secessionists and their foreign sponsors not to try Beijing's patience.
The Anti-Secession Law entitles the State to take non-peaceful and any other necessary measures to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity if the secessionists, no matter on what pretext, try to separate the island from China or when all possible means of peaceful national reunification are exhausted. Which means, if the Tsai administration takes any step toward "independence", it would have to face the consequences.
And irrespective of how illusory Washington is about having succeeded in squeezing benefits out of Beijing, in trade or technology, it would commit a big mistake by hurting China's core national interests.
Yet the law has drawn a clear line between Taiwan compatriots and the secessionists on the island. Which was highlighted by President Xi Jinping in his January 2019 speech to mark the 40th anniversary of the Chinese mainland's "Message to Compatriots in Taiwan", and emphasized again at the Friday meeting.
That said, the law is a guarantee of security and stability for Taiwan compatriots.
China is closer to national rejuvenation than ever. The close people-to-people and economic ties across the Straits and the hard-earned 1992 Consensus — both sides agree they belong to one China — have consolidated the historical bond between the two sides and should be used to set the stage for dialogue, bringing cross-Straits ties back on track.