Hong Kong: President Of China Xi Jinping pledged to pursue “reunification” with Taiwan by nonviolent means in a talk in Beijing on Saturday.
Talking in the Great Hall of the People to celebrate the 110th anniversary of the uprising that ended the country’s last royal dynasty, Xi said the biggest barrier to the reunification of China was the “Taiwan independence” unit.
“Those who forget their culture, betray their motherland, and seek to divide the country will come to no good,” Xi said.
Taiwan and mainland China have been administered independently since the conclusion of a civil war more than seven decades ago, in which the vanquished Nationalists retreated to Taipei. However, Beijing views Taiwan as an integral part of its nation — even though the Chinese Communist Party has never ruled the democratic land of about 24 million people.
Xi’s address came a day ahead of the official anniversary of the Wuchang Uprising on October 10, which is marked as National Day in Taiwan.
Xi spoke on Saturday he wanted to see nonviolent reunification occur under a “one nation two systems” policy, similar to that adopted in Hong Kong. However, the system of power is generally opposed by Taiwan.
In his address, Xi added the Taiwan problem is one of the internal affairs for China and “allows no intervention from outside.”
“People should not undervalue Chinese people’s will to defend national sovereignty and territorial honor. The task of full reunification of China must be accomplished, and it will definitely be accomplished,” he said.
The address comes amid rising armed tensions in the Taiwan Strait. Over four days in early October, the Chinese military flew almost 150 fighter jets, nuclear-capable planes, anti-submarine aircraft, and airborne early warning into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone, according to the island’s Defense Ministry.
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen spoke at a security forum in Taipei on Friday that although her administration did not seek military dispute, “Taiwan will also do whatever it takes to protect its freedom and democratic way of living.”
It came after Taiwan Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng informed journalists on Wednesday that China could be capable of mounting a “full-scale” attack on the island by 2025.
While Xi made no remark of the use of armed force in his Saturday address, he has previously denied to rule it out.
However, his latest comments were less provocative than comments he made on July 1 to celebrate the 100th year of the China’s Communist Party’s foundation, in which he promised to “utterly defeat” any supporters of Taiwan’s sovereignty.
In a statement issued after Xi’s address, Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council said Beijing should drop its “provocative steps of interference, harassment, and destruction.”
Taiwan’s future and progress lay solely in the hands of the island’s people, the statement said, continuing China should consider communications based on “peace, parity, democracy, and discussion.”