The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) media outlet China Review News published, on December 1, 2021, an interview with Chinese academician Zheng Jian, Chair Professor of the Taiwan Research Institute of Xiamen University and Director of the National Taiwan Studies Association. In the interview, Zheng stated that there would be no mercy for "Taiwan independence diehards," who he said "will be arrested and prosecuted" and "nailed to the pillar of shame in history and [will] shame their children and grandchildren." Adding that Taiwan's nationalist Kuomintang party is seen as a mainland asset but is prone to making mistakes, he said that the "Taiwan issue [will be] completely resolved in the 'foreseeable' future."
Below are excerpts of the interview with Zheng Jian:
Zheng Jian (Source: Crntt.com)
'My View Has Always Been That 'Unification Can Be Met,' And Around 2050 Is Probably The Latest Point In Time'
China Review Press: "The communiqué of the Sixth Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China pointed out that since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the Party Central Committee has adhered to the 'One China Principle' and the '92 Consensus,' resolutely opposed Taiwan Independence separatist acts, resolutely opposed external interference, and firmly grasped the dominance and initiative in cross-strait relations. How can you understand this?"
Zheng Jian: "The Taiwan issue is a problem that has only arisen in modern times. The Chinese Communist Party has been working diligently to resolve the Taiwan issue. The Sixth Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee was held at the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party. In such an important meeting, the Taiwan issue would definitely be mentioned.
"First of all, the statement on the Taiwan issue in the communiqué of the Sixth Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China showed that the Chinese mainland government's basic policy of 'peaceful reunification and one country, two systems' remains unchanged. The mainland's general policy on Taiwan has always been consistent and continuous, but in the context of the current danger of cross-strait wars, this Taiwan-related statement has a special meaning. As we all know, there are various speculations about the 'cross-strait war' from all walks of life. However, the political reports of the 18th and 19th National Congresses, the Taiwan-related part of General Secretary Xi's speech at the centennial of the founding of the party, the Taiwan-related part of General Secretary Xi's speech at the 110th anniversary of the Xinhai Revolution, and the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. The Taiwan-related discussions at the Sixth Plenary Session of the Central Committee have always emphasized 'peaceful reunification and one country, two systems.' From the original intent of 'peaceful reunification, one country, two systems,' this is a long-term policy, the best pursuit, and the best path. This is written into the CCP's party program, and this is a constant principle.
"'Peaceful reunification, and one country, two systems' policy was first proposed in the 1980s. Its background is mainly in the following aspects: first, it is to win the hearts of the people of Taiwan; second, the reform and opening up of the mainland requires a peaceful and stable environment, and the two sides of the strait also could deepen understanding, deepen recognition, resolve differences, and solve problems through the opening up of the mainland; the third is to adapt to the international environment and win international support.
"The above three background conditions still have not undergone fundamental changes today. At present, China is on a new journey towards national rejuvenation, which requires China to further reform and open up and deepen the understanding between the two sides of the strait. From an international perspective, except for some countries with ulterior motives, no matter what other countries think. At least at the public policy level, they still support the peaceful settlement of the Taiwan Strait issue. As long as the overall environment has not changed, mainland China's work to win the hearts of the people of Taiwan will not stop.
"There is a saying now that 'the popular support of Taiwan is fading away' and 'green waves on the island,' so 'the efforts to win the support of the people are of little use.' This kind of 'uselessness' is narrow-minded and not objective. You must know that the Chinese Communist Party has an important ideological weapon, namely dialectics. The people's thinking at this time may not necessarily be the thinking at that time. From the moment Chen Shuibian came to power to the year 2008, the thinking of the Taiwanese people has changed a lot. When Tsai Ing-wen came to power in 2016, Taiwanese people's thinking had undergone a new change. Now Taiwan's public opinion has turned again. Otherwise, how do you explain the plight of the DPP is facing now?
"It has always been 'the trend is stronger than the human plan.' Let us imagine that in a few years, when the China exceeds the United States in term of total economic output, when more provinces in Mainland China exceed Taiwan in terms of their economic development and quality of life, when the relationship between mainland China and the United States is rebalanced, what will happen to Taiwan's public opinion? So don't be too pessimistic. The Chinese nation must promote an 'awareness of potential dangers' when we are advancing the process of great rejuvenation, but we must not regard pessimism as an awareness of potential dangers, and we must not allow pessimism to gain the upper hand. The same is true on the Taiwan issue.
"Let's take a big step back and talk about it — even if unfortunately, in the future, we will 'use force to solve the Taiwan issue,' then the previous work to win the hearts and minds of the people has had maintained the strategic stability during the certain period, which is conducive to maintaining a healthy and rational force on the island. In order to reduce the obstacles on the island when the Taiwan issue is finally resolved, it is also more conducive to the long-term stability of Taiwan after reunification.
"Secondly, the Taiwan-related part of the Communiqué of the Sixth Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee reflects that the mainland will be more proactive and effective in implementing the goal and strategy of gradually resolving the Taiwan issue in advancing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
"The gradual resolution of the Taiwan issue in the process of promoting the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation is not a simple political slogan or a political declaration. It is a political strategy, a strategic deployment, a long-term policy, and a blueprint for national reunification. Under this blueprint, the mainland will take actions in politics, economy, diplomacy, society and even strategy and security in the future, and will be more proactive in promoting peaceful development and integrated development, to dissolve 'Taiwan independence,' and ultimately achieve the reunification of the motherland. Speaking of this, a question naturally arises, 'Is there a timetable for reunification?' I think this is the timetable. The mainland handles the Taiwan issue within the framework of Chinese national rejuvenation.
"My view has always been that 'unification can be met,' and around 2050 is probably the latest point in time. But before this, it was possible to solve it in advance. There is also a dialectic here. The key is what role Taiwan is willing to play in the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. This is a strategic question for the Taiwan authorities and a must-answer question for all people. This question is related to the 'timetable.'
"Talking about China's Taiwan policy, the current 'anti-independence' and 'promotion of reunification' are two sides of one coin and they are inseparable. It is necessary to 'promote reunification' in the anti-independence trend and anti-independence in the promotion of reunification. In this sense, anti-independence is carried out under the framework of promoting reunification. The intensity of anti-independence will inevitably be much greater than in the past, the means will be more substantive, and the steps will be more strategic and planned.
"The more rampant Taiwan Independence becomes, the greater the intensity of 'anti-independence,' and the faster reunification will be. If the Taiwan Independence separatists take risks to test the mainland's bottom line during this period, the mainland's military countermeasures will be even stronger, which may lead to some kind of 'ultimate result.' Therefore, if Taiwan independence is not dissolved, it will be difficult to guarantee peaceful reunification.
"Third, the Taiwan-related statement in the communiqué of the Sixth Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China showed that China has a strategic determination, and will advance relevant deployments with a certain rhythm and steps, and will not be disturbed by anti-independence, Taiwan independence, and the interference and sabotage by the United States.
"The mainland will not be overly provoked by Taiwan independence and the United States, and it will not become impatient. This is what Sun Tzu says in the Art of War: We must avoid raising troops in anger and going to war because of resentment. But at the same time, the mainland will not let Taiwan independence and external interfering forces make waves at will. The mainland will steadily advance the great cause of reunification of the motherland along its own strategy and deployment. In recent years, we have always talked about strategic determination, which is exactly what we mean.
"Taiwan independence 'diehards' will be arrested and prosecuted; they and their families will be banned from the Mainland, Hong Kong, and Macau; they will not profit from business on the Mainland for life; and they will 'be nailed to the pillar of shame in history and shame their children and grandchildren.'"
'As The Status And Influence Of Mainland China In The World Increases Day By Day, There Are Many Convenient Means To Punish Taiwan Independence Separatists'
China Review News: "A few days ago, the mainland announced it would punish Taiwan independence diehards such as [Taiwan's head of the cabinet and premier] Su Zhenchang in accordance with the law. Some people in Taiwan said that 'the laws on the other side of the strait have nothing to do with Taiwan.' Others questioned 'whether this list can serve as a warning.' What do you think of these statements?"
Zheng Jian: "Some people now say that they believe that 'Taiwan independence diehards can only be punished if they are arrested and put in prison.' This understanding is one-sided and narrow-minded.
"A few days ago, the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council announced that we will never tolerate acts that blatantly provoked national sovereignty and territorial integrity and will punish die-hard elements of Taiwan independence in accordance with the law. This is necessary to safeguard national sovereignty, security, and development, and it is also something that should be done to ensure peace in cross-strait relations. Those who dare to try the law will surely be punished in accordance with the law. Including the prohibition of Taiwan independence diehards themselves and their families from entering the mainland and the Hong Kong and Macau Special Administrative Regions, restricting their affiliates from cooperating with relevant mainland organizations and individuals, and never allowing their affiliates and financial donors to make profit from the mainland, and so on. At the same time, the criminal responsibility of Taiwan independence diehards will surely be held accountable and effective for their lifetime.
"First of all, as I said, 'Unification can be met,' and now it is less than 30 years since the second 'hundred years.' The mainland pursues these Taiwan independence diehards in accordance with the law and is valid for life. The so-called 'lifetime accountability' means that they are not restricted by the so-called 'prosecution period' of some laws, which means that the crimes committed by Taiwan independence diehards cannot be washed away. of. Many diehard Taiwan independence elements can see that day, and they will surely be tried.
"Secondly, diehard Taiwan independence elements will be nailed to the pillar of shame in history and shame their children and grandchildren.
"Third, some of the measures announced by the mainland will take effect immediately. For example, Taiwan Independence diehards and their family members are prohibited from entering the mainland and Hong Kong and Macau Special Administrative Regions, their affiliates are restricted from cooperating with relevant mainland organizations and individuals, and their affiliates and donors are never allowed to profit from the mainland. Those who have always supported sponsorships and even willingly become donors to Taiwan Independence elements will now think about how they deal with their relationship with these Taiwan Independence elements? Some Taiwan Independence diehards are professional politicians, and Taiwan Independence is their means of earning a living. Without the support of their funders, can they still run rampant?
"Fourth, the world is now so closely connected. The interests of the diehard Taiwan Independence separatists and their associated forces are not only on the island, but also on both sides of the strait and even all over the world. As the status and influence of Mainland China in the world increases day by day, there are many convenient means to punish Taiwan Independence separatists."
'It Is Necessary To Further Enhance The Sense Of Responsibility And Urgency In Advancing The Great Cause Of The Reunification Of The Motherland'
China Review News: "General Secretary Xi Jinping's speech on Taiwan at the commemoration of the 110th anniversary of the Revolution in 1910 received a lot of attention. What is your interpretation? Some people think, 'General Secretary Xi Jinping used some strong language in this speech. Is this some kind of preparation for public opinion?' What do you think of this?"
Zheng Jian: "In his Taiwan-related speech at the commemoration of the 110th anniversary of the Revolution in 1910, General Secretary Xi Jinping stood at the historical height of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, and outlined the framework of the great struggle, the great project, the great cause, and the great dream of the Chinese nation's rejuvenation, and explaining the major propositions for resolving the Taiwan issue in brilliant language, highlighting national interests, historical responsibilities, realistic challenges and determination, will and ability. His speech is really inspiring and uplifting.
"First, the Chinese people will see the Taiwan issue completely resolved in the 'foreseeable' future. In other words, the vast majority of contemporary Chinese who have personally listened to General Secretary Xi's important speech in various ways can see the reunification of the motherland. Second, the stubborn Taiwan Independence separatist forces will receive 'foreseeable' punishments. In other words, the mainland's policy measures to combat Taiwan Independence will be implemented more effectively. Third, the Chinese people will never compromise on the Taiwan issue because of foreign interference. Fourth, it is necessary to further enhance the sense of responsibility and urgency in advancing the great cause of the reunification of the motherland.
"The tough part in the second half of General Secretary Xi's speech is aimed at the current situation in the Taiwan Strait and some extreme situations that may be triggered by the Taiwan-related struggle between China and the United States.
"The purpose is to warn Taiwan Independence and external intervention forces. This is not accidental. Recently, the mainland, especially the military including the Chinese Ministry of National Defense and the Eastern Theater Command, have warned that Taiwan Independence and external intervention forces are often mentioned together. Because they have gone too far.
"One of the characteristics of the Chinese Communist Party is that it 'does what it says,' and this is also true with regard to issues of war and peace. The War of Anti-U.S. Aggression and Aid Korea, the Sino-Indian border war in the 1960s, and the self-defense counterattack against Vietnam in 1979 all reflected this characteristic. In these wars, it is not that China did not give warnings and opportunities, but that the other side did not listen and did not believe that China would do what it said. Historical experience is very important. I really hope that the Taiwan DPP authorities and international intervention forces could study the 100-year history of the Chinese party carefully, especially focusing on the series of wars since the founding of New China."
'Chinese People Now Have No Tolerance For Taiwan Independence'
China Review News: "Recently, there have been a lot of discussions among the mainland people on 'whether there will be a war between the two sides of the strait,' and there have been many voices eager for 'unification by force' on the Internet. How do you view the upsurge of mainland people's calls for unification by force?"
Zheng Jian: "Now is the era of cyberspace, and many events are broadcast live. Some time ago, the Ministry of Commerce issued a market regulation announcement, which immediately reminded everyone of war. This shows that both the people on the mainland and the overseas Chinese in the world are concerned about the Taiwan issue and the great cause of the reunification of the motherland, hoping to realize the reunification of the motherland as soon as possible. In particular, the Chinese people now have no tolerance for Taiwan Independence and the U.S.'s intervention in the Taiwan issue, and they are extremely indignant. Under this circumstance, it is completely normal and understandable for the Chinese to express such opinions.
"The Taiwan authorities and the United States should really take a good look at the sentiments of the people on the mainland, and see if the situation in the Taiwan Strait deteriorates and 'independence,' whether the opinions of the people on the mainland are favorable or unfavorable to them. The Taiwan authorities and the United States always like to talk about public opinion and so-called 'democracy.' If the mainland public opinion is vented in the way that Taiwan and the United States advocate, war may break out overnight."
'Certain Groups Of People In Taiwan Have To Make Some Alternative And Better Choices. This Is A Warning And A Reminder'
China Review News: "Earlier, Liu Junchuan, deputy director of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, described the bright future of Taiwan after reunification in a seminar. He said that 'after reunification, Taiwan's fiscal revenue can be used to improve people's livelihood.' His remarks became a hot topic immediately. Under the circumstance that the cross-strait war is on the verge of breaking out, what kind of message has the mainland sent to the island with this kind of goodwill?"
Zheng Jian: "The mainland is now advancing the grand cause of reunification of the motherland according to its own steps, and will not be shaken by any specific interference. We will gradually resolve the Taiwan issue in the process of national rejuvenation, and we will be more proactive when dealing with the Taiwan issue. On the Taiwan issue, Mainland China has its own steps and strategies, so it is natural for [Liu Junchuan] to talk about goodwill like this.
"Even if cross-strait relations deteriorate further, as long as the last juncture is not reached, the mainland will still speak in good faith. This is telling the people of Taiwan that there are many ways to go in cross-strait relations, but peaceful reunification is the best route. The mainland has absolute sincerity to follow this route that is good for Taiwan, good for the mainland, and good for regional peace and stability.
"And I have also noticed that Taiwanese people's reactions to this passage are mainly concentrated in two aspects. On the one hand, they feel that this is a good thing for the people of Taiwan; on the other hand, they will also question whether this statement counts. Regarding this kind of questioning, I think we still have to look at the history of the Communist Party of China. The Communist Party of China has always said what it says counts and does what it says, but the premise is that cross-strait relations must meet each other halfway.
"In addition, this passage is actually a further explanation of the 'peaceful reunification, and one country, two systems' policy. Regarding financial issues, past mainland leaders have also given various explanations. Now that this issue has been raised again, it actually demonstrates the consistency of the policy.
"Under the current tense situation of cross-strait relations, making such a kind declaration is of special significance. The first is to indicate that the basic principle of 'peaceful reunification and one country, two systems' as mentioned by the mainland has not changed; the second is to tell Taiwan not to blindly follow the path of 'Taiwan independence.' Certain groups of people in Taiwan have to make some alternative and better choices. This is a warning and a reminder. At the same time, this also tells the international community that the mainland's major policies towards Taiwan have not changed."
'The United States Does Not Support Taiwan Independence Separatists'
China Review News: "On November 16, President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Biden held a video conference. Do you think this meeting between the two heads of state will produce a slight chance to ease the severe and complex situation across the Taiwan Strait?"
Zheng Jian: "The meeting between the top leaders of China and the United States, even if it is a video meeting, is meaningful in itself. I bet that perhaps the people in Taipei viewed this meeting with a high degree of panic or paranoia.
"During this meeting, Biden stated that the United States is committed to implementing the 'One China Policy' to the end; the United States does not support Taiwan Independence separatists. This shows that the leaders of China and the United States have a certain degree of overlap and consensus on the Taiwan issue. For the DPP and the Taiwan Independence separatist forces, this is certainly not good news.
"As I said earlier, it is difficult for us to prevent the United States from thinking about and handling the Taiwan issue within the framework of strategic competition. Since the United States is thinking about the Taiwan issue under such a framework of strategic competition, there must be very different aspects in addition to a certain degree of agreement between China and the United States on some major issues. The struggle between China and the United States on the Taiwan issue must continue.
"At the same time, we should also note that while the Tsai Ing-wen authorities are disappointed, they will continue to undermine the relationship between mainland China and the United States. Tsai Ing-wen proudly said before, 'The United States can play the 'Taiwan card,' and Taiwan can also play the 'American card.'' At present, the Tsai Ing-wen government is on a downward slope in governance, and whenever the DPP has difficulty in governing or is in a bad situation during elections, it will always play a certain 'card,' and this card will always affect cross-strait relations in a negative way.
"The DPP is now in a difficult situation. Taiwan's polls show that three of the four referendums at the end of the year must be lost. As a result, the DPP cannot be optimistic about the elections for county and city mayors in 2022 and Taiwan's elections in 2024. Therefore, it can be predicted that the DPP will repeat its tricks. Although it will not necessarily increase cross-strait confrontation, it will definitely play the cross-strait card negatively. They want to divert the attention of the people in Taiwan on the one hand. On the other hand, they want to pull the United States into the water. In addition, the support rate of Biden and the Democratic Party in the United States is also declining, and this decline will also cause them to vigorously play the 'Chinese card.' Will the two forces of the Democratic Party of the United States and the Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan be combined together? This is what we need to be vigilant about.
"Therefore, in my opinion, the Sino-U.S. heads of state talks have reached a certain degree of consensus on the Taiwan issue, which is conducive to maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. At the same time, the struggle between the two sides on the Taiwan issue must continue. The spokesperson of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs pointed out at a regular press conference on November 15 that 'The United States' expression on the Taiwan issue has gone out of shape, changed its taste, and regressed. It is no longer what it was in the past forty years. The United States betrayed the consensus reached between the United States and China when China and the United States established diplomatic relations.' It is no accident that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs made such a statement the day before the meeting between the Chinese and U.S. leaders. China can only make such criticisms after it has a considerable degree of understanding of the United States' attitude towards Taiwan."
'The Taiwan Issue Is China's Internal Affair, And We Must Be Vigilant Against The Actions Of The U.S. To Instigate War'
China Review News: "Many U.S. officials have frequently declared that 'the United States' commitment to Taiwan is as solid as a rock.' U.S.-Taiwan exchanges are constantly increasing. Everyone often says that the U.S. factor is the biggest external factor in the situation in the Taiwan Strait, but how much trouble can this external factor stir up? Some analysts believe that 'the greatest risk leading to unification by force comes from the United States.' What do you think of this?"
Zheng Jian: The United States considers the Taiwan issue within the framework of strategic competition. Of course, it hopes that Taiwan will become a stumbling block to the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. It will use Taiwan to carry out political smearing, diplomatic isolation, strategic containment, military deterrence, and economic decoupling of mainland China, making Taiwan a "troublemaker" for mainland China. But the United States also faces a dilemma on this issue. The United States supports the Democratic Progressive Party, which advocates 'Taiwan independence,' but to what extent should it support it? Do you support a cross-strait war? I'm afraid this remains to be seen. If there is a military conflict in the Taiwan Strait, if the United States does not send troops, it will take a firm stand in 'Afghanistan today and Taiwan tomorrow.' If the United States sends troops, there will be a Sino-U.S. war, and the U.S. leaders will surely weigh it carefully.
"Some current U.S. practices or policies seem to be pushing mainland China toward 'unification by force.' However, mainland China must firm up its position and propositions and be clear about the United States' motives on the Taiwan issue. The Taiwan issue is China's internal affair, and we must be vigilant against the actions of the United States to instigate war and will not be easily fooled. At the same time, we must also believe that there is no shortage of rational politicians and ordinary people in Taiwan, who will also see through the ulterior motives of the United States.
"Regarding the Taiwan Independence separatists in Taiwan, the mainland will not remain indifferent because of the constraints of the United States, and we will take drastic measures when necessary. If there is a war between the two sides of the strait because of the U.S. provocation, the culprit must be the Taiwan Independence separatist forces.
"In fact, now that the two sides of the strait have reached the historical stage of impending reunification, some Taiwan Independence separatists may cater to the needs of the United States to pave the way for their future retreat. They may go away on the occasion of reunification and leave those blind followers as cannon fodder. This is something that the people of Taiwan should pay special attention to."
'The Unity Is Indeed 'Foreseeable''
China Review News: "Finally, do you think there is a so-called timetable for cross-strait reunification? What do you think of the prospect of reunification across the Taiwan Strait?"
Zheng Jian: "Mainland China is resolving the Taiwan issue in the process of advancing the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. This probably gives the final 'point in time.' Is there a timetable? If it is accurate to the year, month and day, there is no need to formulate such a timetable; but if there is no timetable, the unity is indeed 'foreseeable.' In addition, the more rampant 'Taiwan independence,' the faster the reunification. If Taiwan Independence really goes to the point of taking risks, the mainland is bound to make the final solution."
 Bj.crntt.com/doc/1062/2/9/7/106229779.html?coluid=93&kindid=19311&docid=106229779&mdate=1201001020, December 1, 2021.