The Chinese people must resolve the Taiwan issue, and China will never give up the right to use force but will seek a peaceful solution, President Xi Jinping said Sunday at the opening of a large party meeting.
China considers Taiwan its territory democratically, despite strong objections from the Taipei government, which rejects claims to sovereignty and says that only the island’s people have the right to decide their future.
Tensions rose sharply in August after China held military exercises near Taiwan following a visit to Taipei by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
This fight continues, albeit at a slower pace.
In his opening speech at the 20th Congress of the ruling Communist Party in Beijing, Xi Jinping said China has always “respected, cared for and benefited” the people of Taiwan and pledged to promote economic and cultural exchanges across the Taiwan Strait.
“The solution of the Taiwan issue is a matter for the Chinese people, and it depends on the Chinese people,” he said.
“We insist on pursuing the prospect of peaceful reunification with the utmost sincerity and effort, but we will never promise to renounce the use of force and reserve the right to take all necessary measures.”
This option aims at “interference” from outside forces and a “very small number” of supporters of Taiwanese independence, rather than the vast majority of the Taiwanese people, Xi Jinping said.
“The historic wheels of national reunification and national rejuvenation are coming, and the full reunification of the Fatherland must be achieved, and it must be achieved!” he added too much applause.
In a speech marking Monday’s national holiday, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said the war between Taiwan and China was “absolutely not an option” and reiterated her readiness to talk to Beijing.
China refuses to talk to Ms. Cai, considering her a separatist.
Beijing has offered Taiwan a model of “one country, two systems” autonomy, the same formula it uses for Hong Kong.
But all of Taiwan’s major political parties have rejected the proposal, and it has almost no public support, according to opinion polls.
Xi also told Congress that China should ensure that Hong Kong is ruled by patriots and will support Hong Kong in integration with the mainland.
“One country, two systems” is the best system for Hong Kong and should be respected in the long term, he said.