Xi Jinping vows ‘peaceful reunification’ with Taiwan, Taipei rejects offer world News

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BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping vowed on Saturday (October 9) to achieve “peaceful reunification” with Taiwan, and did not directly mention the use of force after a week of tensions with the Chinese-claimed island, which has sparked international concern.

Soon after, Taiwan responded by calling on Beijing to forcefully quit, reiterating that only the Taiwanese people can decide their future.
Democratic-ruled Taiwan has come under military and political pressure from Beijing to acknowledge its sovereignty, but Taipei has pledged to defend its independence.

At Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, Xi said the Chinese people have a “splendid tradition” of resisting separatism.

On the anniversary of the revolution that overthrew the last imperial dynasty in 1911, he said, “Taiwan’s independence separatism is the greatest obstacle to achieving the reunification of the motherland, and the gravest hidden threat to national rejuvenation.”

He said peaceful “reunification” serves the overall interests of the people of Taiwan, but that China will defend its sovereignty and unity.

“No one should underestimate the determination, strong will and strong ability of the Chinese people to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Xi said. “The historic task of the complete integration of the Motherland must and must be accomplished.”

He struck a slightly softer tone than in July, his last major speech referring to Taiwan, in which he vowed to “break” any attempts at formal independence. In 2019, he threatened to use direct force to bring the island under Beijing’s control.

‘Provocative Steps’

Nevertheless, the speech was poorly received in Taiwan. The President’s Office stated that they were a sovereign independent country, not part of the People’s Republic of China, and had categorically rejected China’s proposal of a “one country, two systems” to govern the island. .

“The future of the country lies in the hands of the people of Taiwan,” the office said.

In a separate statement, Taiwan’s China-policy-making Mainland Affairs Council called on Beijing to “abandon its provocative measures of infiltration, oppression and destruction” and return to talks.

China’s air force infiltrated Taiwan’s air defense detection area for four consecutive days from 1 October, involving about 150 aircraft, although those missions have since ended. Xi made no mention of those flights.

Taiwan officially calls itself the Republic of China, the name of the country established in 1912 after the fall of the Qing dynasty.
That government fled to Taiwan in 1949 after losing a civil war with the Communists, who established today’s People’s Republic.

Taiwan marks National Day on October 10, the date of the start of the anti-imperialist revolution in China, and President Tsai Ing-wen will deliver a keynote address in Taipei on Sunday.

Tsai, speaking at a national day reception at an airport in Hsinchu, northern Taiwan, on Saturday night thanked the armed forces for defending Taiwan, though did not mention tensions with China.

“We will continue to work hard to stay firmly on the front lines of democracy and freedom,” he said. China celebrated the revolution in support of Republic leader Sun Yat-sen’s call for patriotism, national rejuvenation and good governance.

Xi used the speech to “underline the need for a strong force to lead the country, and that strong force is the Chinese Communist Party”.
“Without the Chinese Communist Party, there would be no new China, and therefore no rejuvenation of the Chinese people,” he said.

Xi has tightened party control in all aspects of life and is almost certain to break protocol and remain as the head of the Communist Party for a third term at the end of next year, when Congress is set to hold an office for the next five years. Will elect a new leadership.

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