During a noteworthy speech to the CPC Central Committee, President Xi Jinping made it clear that Beijing would use “any means” to keep Taiwan from seceding and that the island’s reunion with mainland China is a necessary course of action.

According to the Xinhua news agency, Xi made these comments during his speech to the Communist Party of China’s Central Committee at a symposium honouring Mao Zedong’s 130th birthday.

CHINESE PRESIDENT’S STANCE

As per quoted statements, Xi declared, “We will resolutely prevent anyone from making Taiwan secede from China by any means.” Emphasising that the “complete reunification” of China is a “inevitable trend” that is in line with the aspirations of the people as well as national interest. “Promote the peaceful development” of relations with Taiwan is what the president called for, along with “integrated development in all fields.”

Highlighting Beijing’s stance on Taiwan, Xi had previously conveyed to US President Joe Biden, during their meeting in California last month, that any attempts by Taiwan to declare independence would lead to war, as reported by NBC News.

China would provide “plenty of space” for a peaceful reunion with Taiwan, according to Xi, but he also made it clear that Beijing would not tolerate any separatist actions on the part of Taipei.

TAIWAN ELECTIONS

With the parliamentary and presidential elections scheduled for January 13, Taiwan’s leading candidate is none other than Lai Ching-te, the leader of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Self-described “worker for Taiwanese independence,” Lai has charged Beijing with threatening to use force against the island.

President Xi in his speech on Tuesday avoided directly mentioning the impending elections in Taiwan or the possible use of force against the island.

BACKGROUND

Historically, Taiwan, located approximately 180km from the Chinese mainland, was known as Formosa. China ceded it to Japan in 1895 but reclaimed it after Tokyo’s surrender in 1945. Post the Chinese nationalists’ defeat in the civil war in 1949, they evacuated to the island with US assistance, proclaiming Taipei as the capital of the Republic of China.

In 1971, the United Nations (UN) recognised the government in Beijing as the legitimate authority of China, leading to the de-recognition of Taiwan by numerous countries. The US, in 1972, accepted Beijing’s position that “there is but one China, and that Taiwan is a part of China.”

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