HONG KONG — Chinese President Xi Jinping calls for “peaceful reunification” with Taiwan days after the Chinese People’s Liberation Army sent a record 56 bombers and other planes out near the autonomous island in one day.
“The historic task of the complete reunification of the homeland must be accomplished and certainly can be accomplished,” Xi said in Beijing on Saturday, adding that achieving this goal by peaceful means is in the interest of the Taiwanese people.
The Communist Party considers Taiwan to be part of China, although it has never ruled the island, and has vowed to take control of it, by force if necessary.
In response to Xi’s speech, the Taiwan Mainland Council said China’s continued threat of military action is the key to the problems in the Taiwan Strait.
“The Chinese Communist Party’s rigid Taiwan policy does not take a realistic measure of the current situation, completely ignores the development of the world situation, and basically ignores the doubts and opposition of the Taiwanese people,” a- he declared.
Xi has long talked about achieving what Beijing called peaceful reunification with Taiwan, but his remarks came as concerns in the United States mounted about China’s military build-up for years and recent measures. threatening against the island.
The PLA has carried out 150 sorties near Taiwan so far this month, a blitz that has sparked expressions of concern from the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that a small number of US troops were secretly training local military forces on the island.
Taiwan’s independence is the biggest obstacle to Beijing’s unification goal and constitutes a “grave hidden danger to national rejuvenation,” Xi said. “Those who forget their ancestors, betray the homeland or divide the country have always been condemned. They will definitely be despised by the people and judged by history, ”he added.
Xi said the Taiwan issue is China’s internal affair and no outside interference is allowed, without naming any country. He did not mention the use of force in Taiwan in his speech.
Write to Elaine Yu at [email protected]
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