China will not renounce its right to use force against Taiwan, President Xi Jinping declared at the opening ceremony of a major party gathering.
China views Taiwan was democratically ruled by China views, but Taiwan’s government has strong objections to this claim and believes that Taiwan should be governed by its citizens.
At the Opening of the 20th Congress of the ruling Communist Party, the country’s largest political event, Mr Xi stated that China has always “respected and cared for” Taiwan’s citizens.
He said that he was determined to promote economic and cultural exchanges throughout the Taiwan Strait.
“Resolving Taiwan’s issue is China’s business. It’s up to the Chinese people how to decide,” said Mr Xi.
“We will continue to strive for peaceful reunification, with all our sincerity, best efforts, but we won’t promise to stop using force. We reserve the right to take any necessary steps.”
He concluded with a round of applause and said: “The historic wheels of national reunification are moving forward, and the complete unification of the motherland must happen.”
During the speech by Mr Xi, in which he mentioned “safety and security” 73 times each, he said that China would also accelerate its build of a military capable of defending itself against threats and enhance its ability to create a strategic deterrent.
Beijing offered Taiwan “one country, two system” autonomy. This is the same formula that it uses for Hong Kong. However, all major parties in Taiwan have rejected this proposal.
“Meeting on a battlefield is not an option”
Tensions between Beijing & Taipei have increased since August, when China held military drills near Taiwan after Nancy Pelosi, the US House Speaker, visited the island .
The Chinese government was furious at her trip, as it considers visits to Taiwan by foreign officials to be an acknowledgement of its sovereignty.
Military activities near Taiwan have been ongoing since then, but at a slower pace.
Taiwan’s presidential office retaliated to Mr Xi’s remarks by saying it would not compromise its sovereignty nor freedom of speech.
Both sides must work together to maintain peace and stability in Taiwan Strait and the surrounding region. Meeting on the battlefield is not an option.
What disruption is China’s military drills causing you?
Why is Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan trip so controversial?
It reiterated its stance that the people of the island strongly oppose Beijing’s concept of “one country and two systems” management.
The end of the week-long Congress of the Communist Party will see Mr Xi (69) win a third term as a leader, consolidating his position as the country’s most powerful ruler since Mao Zedong.
Around 2,300 CCP delegates will attend the event, including politicians of all ranks and delegates from both the private sector, doctors, farmers, model workers, and China’s first female astronaut.