Xi asks Taiwan to embrace 'peaceful reunification'

Jan 03, 2019, 09:02 IST | Agencies

The Chinese president also warned of using force if and when necessary

Xi asks Taiwan to embrace 'peaceful reunification'
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen (right) has rejected Jinping's call for 'reunification' of Taiwan with China

Talking tough, President Xi Jinping on Wednesday asked Taiwan to reject independence and embrace "peaceful reunification" with China on a 'one-country-two systems' basis, warning that he would not renounce the option of using military force if Taipei persists with the idea of freedom.

"Chinese don't fight Chinese," Xi, 65, said, asserting that the peaceful reunification is in the best interests of the compatriots across the Strait as well as to China. "We make no promise to renounce the use of force and reserve the option of taking all necessary means," he said, delivering a strong message to Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, a firm advocate of Taiwan's independence.

Xi, regarded as the most powerful leader who heads the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC), the military and the presidency, said both Hong Kong and Macau were integrated into China under the 'one-country-two-systems' basis and have retained their autonomy.

"Peaceful reunification embodies the wisdom of the Chinese people that all rivers run into the sea and is inclusive," he said, adding, "The concrete implementation of 'one-country-two-systems' in Taiwan will take into full account the reality of Taiwan."

Xi's speech laced with a decisive message to Taiwan comes after President Tsai's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) suffered major losses in the last month's local government elections following which she resigned as the leader of the party. Xi also said his message was targeted at the interference of external forces and the very small number of "Taiwan independence" separatists and their activities.

'Taiwanese want to maintain self-rule'
Taiwan's leader said that the people of the island want to maintain self-rule despite recent electoral gains by the Beijing-friendly opposition party. Taiwanese officials should not enter into any secret dialogue with China, President Tsai Ing-wen warned in a speech.

China building warships for Pak
China is building the first of four "most advanced" naval warships for its "all-weather ally" Pakistan as part of a major bilateral arms deal to ensure among other things "balance of power" in the strategic Indian Ocean. Equipped with modern detection and weapon systems, it will be capable of anti-ship, anti-submarine and air-defence operations, reports said.

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