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Taiwan Terms Xi Jinping's Renewed Pitch For Reunification As 'Distortion Of History, Says China Should Stop Threatening Island – Swarajya

Speaking in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing to commemorate the 110th anniversary of the revolution that ended the country’s last imperial dynasty, Xi said the biggest obstacle to the reunification of China was the “Taiwan independence” force.
The Taiwanese government termed the speech as a ‘distortion of history’ and called on Beijing to stop threatening the island.
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday (Oct 9) made a renewed pitch for the reunification of Taiwan with the mainland amidst heightened tensions with the estranged island, saying the “Taiwan question” will be resolved and it brooks “no external interference”.
“To achieve the reunification of the motherland by peaceful means is most in line with the overall interests of the Chinese nation, including our compatriots in Taiwan,” Xi told a meeting in Beijing commemorating the 110th anniversary of the 1911 revolution that established the first Chinese republic.
Xi’s comments came after China sent a record number of military jets into Taiwan’s air defence zone for four days in a row, in a public show of force.
Taiwan considers itself a sovereign state – but China views the self-ruled island as a breakaway province. Beijing has not ruled out the possible use of force to achieve unification.
Speaking in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing to commemorate the 110th anniversary of the revolution that ended the country’s last imperial dynasty, Xi said the biggest obstacle to the reunification of China was the “Taiwan independence” force.
Xi added that secessionists were “the biggest obstacle to the reunification of the motherland and a serious hidden risk to national rejuvenation”.
The Taiwan question arose out of the weakness and chaos of the Chinese nation and it will be resolved as national rejuvenation becomes a reality, Xi, also the General Secretary of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC), said.
“This is determined by the general trend of Chinese history, but more importantly, it is the common will of all Chinese people,” Xi said.
The 1911 Revolution led by nationalists headed by Dr Sun Yat-sen ended 2,132 years of imperial rule and 276 years of Manchu rule, and heralded the beginning of China’s republican era followed by the formation of People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1949.
Taiwan separated from the PRC in 1949 while fighting a civil war with the CPC headed by Mao Zedong.
Since he took over power in 2012, President Xi, 68, has made the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and realisation of the Chinese Dream and integration of Taiwan with mainland China as his main goals.
“The Chinese Communists are the most steadfast supporters, most loyal partners, and most loyal successors of Mr Sun Yat-sen’s revolutionary cause,” Xi said.
“After Mr Sun Yat-sen passed away, the Chinese Communists inherited his wish, continued to struggle with all those who were loyal to his cause, and continued to realise and develop the great aspirations of Mr Sun Yat-sen and the pioneers of the Xinhai revolution.” Xi added
Taiwan’s Reaction To Xi’s Speech
The Taiwanese government termed the speech as a ‘distortion of history’ and called on Beijing to stop threatening the island.
Calling Xi’s speech a “one-sided distortion of historical facts”, Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council said in a statement that “Mr Sun Yat-sen and countless revolutionary martyrs created the first democratic republic in Asia, the Republic of China. The Republic of China stands unshakably in Taiwan.”
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen is expected to deliver an address commemorating the same event on Sunday, giving her a chance to respond to Xi after a particularly tense week in the Taiwan Strait.
Last week, Taiwan’s Minister of National Defence Chiu Kuo-cheng warned that China will be militarily capable of launching a full-scale invasion of Taiwan by 2025.
“China has the capability to invade Taiwan now,” and will be capable of mounting a full scale invasion by 2025, Chiu told reporters before a legislative session convened to review a special military budget, when asked if China would be capable of invading Taiwan by 2025.
The current tensions across the Taiwan Strait “are really the grimmest I have seen in more than 40 years of military service,” Chiu said during a joint session of lawmakers.
While noting that invading Taiwan right now would incur a high cost for China, by 2025, Chiu said that Beijing would be able to lower that cost and launch a full-scale invasion.
On Tuesday, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen warned of “catastrophic consequences” if it were to fall to China. She reiterated that Taiwan is committed to defending itself if its democracy is threatened.
“A failure to defend Taiwan would not only be catastrophic for the Taiwanese; it would overturn a security architecture that has allowed for peace and extraordinary economic development in the region for seven decades,”, she wrote in an article titled ‘Taiwan and the Fight for Democracy’ in Foreign Affairs magazine.
Vibrantly democratic and Western, yet influenced by a Chinese civilization and shaped by Asian traditions, Taiwan, by virtue of both its very existence and its continued prosperity, represents at once an affront to the narrative and an impediment to the regional ambitions of the Chinese Communist Party, she stated.
Tensions
Last week, tensions flared up after a Chinese military plane made a record 150 flights into Taiwan’s Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ), prompting the US to express serious concern over the escalation.
The intensity of China’s air raids prompted US President Joe Biden to remind Xi that they have agreed to abide by the “Taiwan agreement” during their talks over telephone last month.
Also Read: Taiwanese Defence Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng Says China Will Be Able To Launch A Full-Scale Invasion Of Taiwan By 2025
(With inputs from PTI)
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