China's leader urges action on unification with Taiwan

Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during an event to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the

Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during an event to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the"Message to Compatriots in Taiwan at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing China

Xi described reunification under a "one country, two systems" approach that would ensure "the interests and well-being of Taiwanese compatriots".

Chinese President Xi Jinping, declaring that independence is not an option for Taiwan, urged both sides to reach an early consensus on unification and not leave the issue for future generations.

She made the statement to news media hours after Chinese President Xi Jinping said in a policy speech on Taiwan that no one can stop the trend toward unification.

A day before Xi marked the anniversary of the letter, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, from the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party, said Taipei would not give any ground on sovereignty and Beijing should appreciate that the "Republic of China, Taiwan" had existed for a long time.

"We are willing to create broad space for peaceful reunification, but will leave no room for any form of separatist activities", Xi added.

He said China would not abandon the use of force for unification, but stressed that the military would only target external elements and those seeking independence for Taiwan.

China still sees Taiwan as part of its territory despite the two sides being ruled separately, while Taiwan considers itself a sovereign state.

President Xi also proposed talks between the two sides to work out "a systematic arrangement for the peaceful development of the cross-strait relationship". His father, Chiang Kai-shek, fled with defeated Nationalist forces to Taiwan in December of 1949 after loosing a civil war to the Communists.

"It's a legal fact that both sides of the strait belong to one China, and can not be changed by anyone or any force", Xi said. However, the Message to Compatriots, issued 40 years ago, declared an end to artillery bombardment of Taiwan-controlled island, and since then informal China-Taiwan contacts resumed.

"Taiwan will never accept a "one country, two systems" framework", said President Tsai.

It's unclear how his message will be received by the 23 million people on the other side of the Taiwan Strait.

Tsai, who says she wants to maintain the status quo with China, said yesterday China must use peaceful means to resolve its differences with Taiwan and respect its democratic values.

He sought to reassure people in Taiwan that there was nothing to fear from Chinese rule, even though most people there have shown no interest in being run by autocratic Beijing.

Beijing has regularly sent military aircraft and ships to circle the island on drills in the past few years and has heaped pressure on the island internationally, including whittling down its few remaining diplomatic allies.

Tsai rejected the overture, saying that orderly exchanges should be carried out between the two governments and that Taiwanese people opposed one country, two systems.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.