CHINA does not discount the use of force to bring Taiwan under its control although Beijing will strive for a peaceful “reunification” from the self-ruled island.
Chinese president Xi Jinping on Wednesday said Beijing reserves the right to use force amid his move to step up pressure on the democratic island since Tsai Ing-wen from the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party became president in 2016, Reuters reported.
Xi told an audience of senior party officials and business people that the vast majority of Taiwan’s people are clearly aware that independence would lead to a “grave disaster” and that the reunification with the mainland was “inevitable”.
“Chinese people don’t attack other Chinese people. We are willing to use the greatest sincerity and expend the greatest hard work to strive for the prospect of peaceful reunification,” Xi said.
“We do not promise to renounce the use of force and reserve the option to use all necessary measures,” he said, referring to China’s goal and prevention of Taiwan independence.
Xi said this at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People in a speech commemorating the 40th anniversary of a landmark Taiwan policy statement.
For decades, China has held on to the view that Taiwan was part of its territory.
The two sides have been ruled separately since the end of the civil war that saw communists take power in the mainland in 1949 and separatists governing Taiwan.
With its own currency, political and judicial system, Taiwan insists it is a sovereign state, although the island has not officially declared independence from China.
Rejecting Xi’s call, Tsai has urged autocratic China to embrace democracy, adding Taiwan would never accept China’s “one country, two systems” rule as Taiwan was proud of its democratic way of life.
“The vast majority in Taiwan resolutely oppose ‘one country, two systems’, This is the ‘Taiwan consensus’,” she said.
“We call on China to bravely step forward for democracy, for only by doing so can it truly understand the people of Taiwan’s thinking and insistence.”