Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday made a strong pitch for Taiwan’s integration with the mainland amid heightened tensions with the disengaged self-ruled island, saying the “Taiwan question” will be resolved and “peaceful reunification” in the best interests of people of both sides.
Taiwan’s issue cuts “no external interference”, says Xi in the back of the US and Japan stepping up their support for the disengaged island in the face of China’s increasingly aggressive posture.
Xi’s comments also came after China sent a record number of military jets to Taiwan’s air defense zone for four days in a row, at a public power show.
Taiwan considers itself a sovereign state – but China regards the self-governing island as a secession state. Beijing has not ruled out the possible use of force to secure a merger.
Speaking at the decorated People’s Great Hall in Beijing to commemorate the 110th anniversary of the revolution that brought about the country’s last imperial dynasty, Xi said that the biggest obstacle to reuniting China was the power of “Taiwan’s independence”.
Taiwan’s question of the weakness and chaos of the Chinese nation arose and will be resolved as national renewal becomes a reality, said Xi, also the Secretary General of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
“This is dictated by the general trend of Chinese history, but more importantly, it is the common will of all Chinese people,” said Xi.
He said after years of hard work, China’s national renewal has become historically inevitable, with stronger institutions, firmer material foundations and a more proactive mindset.
“Peaceful national reunification best serves the interests of the Chinese nation as a whole, including Taiwanese compatriots,” he said even as he pledged to reunite the island of over 23 million that resists powerful integration with the a land mass of 1.4 billion population.
The 1911 Nationalist-led Revolution led by Dr Sun Yat-sen ended 2,132 years of imperial rule and 276 years of Manchu government marking the beginning of China’s republican era and the formation of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1949.
Taiwan who chose democracy separated from the PRC in 1949 while fighting a civil war with the CPC led by Mao Zedong.
Since taking over in 2012, President Xi, 68, has renewed the Chinese nation and realized the Chinese Dream and integrated Taiwan with mainland China as his main goals.
Last week, tensions escalated after a Chinese military aircraft made 150 flights to the Taiwan Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), prompting the United States to express serious concern about the escalation.
The intensity of China’s air raids prompted US President Joe Biden to remind Xi that they had agreed to abide by the “Taiwan agreement” during their telephone negotiations last month.
“I’ve talked to Xi about Taiwan. We agree, we will abide by the Taiwan agreement. We made it clear that I don’t think he should be doing anything other than sticking to the agreement, ”said Biden.
Xi, in his address, claimed that Taiwan’s question is only an internal issue for China, one that does not intervene externally.
“The complete reunion of our country will be, and can be, realized,” he stressed.
Xi recalled that the mainland adhered to the basic policies of peaceful reunification and that the One Country, Two Systems, maintains the one-China policy and the 1992 Consensus and works to develop peaceful transatlantic relations.
But critics say China’s affiliation with One Country, Two Systems has questioned how it took control of Hong Kong, a former British colony, by enforcing its National Security Act last year.
President Xi’s remarks on Saturday appeared more conciliatory than his last major intervention on Taiwan in July, in which he pledged to “curtail” any attempts at Taiwan’s formal independence.
“Abusive behavior and hegemony are not in the blood of Chinese people. Our people hope to achieve national development successfully, but they also hope to see all the peoples of the world lead happy and peaceful lives, ”said Xi, amid growing global concern over the growing assertiveness of the Communist giant in the Indo-region. Pacific Ocean.
“China will continue to be a champion of world peace, a contributor to global development, and a defender of international order, and we will do our utmost to make even greater contributions to humanity,” he said.
“With courage and skill, we will overcome all the major risks and challenges that could block our path to national renewal and fully protect our national sovereignty, security and development interests,” he said, in a clear reference to the formation of a United States Quad group , India, Australia and Japan as well as founding AUKUS, a trilateral security alliance between the US, Britain and Australia.
He said “compatriots on both sides of Taiwan’s strait should stand on the right side of history and join hands to secure the complete reunification of China and the renewal of the Chinese nation,” he said.
Those who forget their heritage, will betray their homeland and try to divide the country to no good end, Xi said, striking out pro-Taiwan independence advocates.
Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen is a strong advocate for Taiwan’s independence.
President Tsai said at a security forum in Taipei on Friday that while his government did not seek a military confrontation, “Taiwan will also do whatever it takes to protect its freedom and its democratic way of life.”
It came after Taiwan’s Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng said on Wednesday that China could be able to overcome a “full-scale” invasion of the island by 2025.
Although Xi did not mention using military force in his speech on Saturday, he has previously refused to rule it out.
Xi also highlighted the role and importance of the CPC led by him who celebrated his centenary this year.
What the last 110 years have shown Chinese people since the 1911 Revolution is that China needs a strong force, he said.
“The past 110 years have shown us that to achieve national renewal, the Chinese people must have a strong force to lead us forward, and that power is the Communist Party of China,” he said.
Xi, considered to be the most powerful leader after Mao led the CPC, army and Presidency, is expected to complete his second term next year and is expected to remain in power for life given the 2018 constitutional amendments, and removed the two-term limit for the President.
To date, all of his predecessors retired after two seasons.
Emphasizing the importance of strong leadership, Xi said that without the CPC there would be no new China and no national renewal.
Efforts should be made to ensure that the CPC always stands firmly as the most trusted backbone of the Chinese nation and people.
“The past 110 years have shown us that to achieve national renewal, the path we take is vitally important. Socialism with Chinese characteristics has been proven to be the only right path.
“The past 110 years have shown us that in order to achieve national renewal, the Chinese people and nation must keep together through good times and bad, and rely on our strong unity to overcome all the risks and challenges of the way ahead.
“On the journey ahead, we must fully promote patriotism, foster a strong sense of national dignity and confidence among our people, and strengthen the community’s sense of Chinese community,” he said, calling for the formation of the “united front widest patriotism possible ”. ”
The past 110 years have shown us that to achieve national renewal, China needs not only a stable and unified domestic environment but also a peaceful and stable international environment, said the Chinese President.