The Inevitability of China’s Reunification with Taiwan: President Xi Jinping’s Strong Stance

The Inevitability of China’s Reunification with Taiwan: President Xi Jinping’s Strong Stance

In his recent New Year’s address, President Xi Jinping of China made it clear that the “reunification” of Taiwan with the mainland is inevitable. This statement comes at a crucial time, as Taiwan prepares to hold presidential and parliamentary elections on January 13th. The relationship between Beijing and Taipei has been strained, with China escalating its military pressure to assert its sovereignty claims over the democratic island. While Xi’s speech did not explicitly mention military threats, his words and the actions of his government suggest a strong determination to bring Taiwan under Chinese control.

President Xi emphasized the idea of a shared purpose between the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait. He called for a common sense of purpose and the collective glory of the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. However, it is important to note that the official English translation used the term “all Chinese,” rather than “compatriots,” which was used in the original Chinese speech. This distinction could be seen as an attempt to assert China’s claim of sovereignty over Taiwan and include all residents of the island as part of the Chinese nation.

China has expressed particular concern about Vice President Lai Ching-te, who is the presidential candidate for Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Party (DPP) and currently leading in opinion polls. The Chinese government has labeled Lai as a dangerous separatist and a destroyer of peace across the Taiwan Strait. This sentiment was echoed by spokesperson Chen Binhua of China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, who accused Lai of having confrontational thinking and being responsible for obstructing exchanges with mainland China.

The DPP’s Stance and Taiwan’s Future

Since President Tsai Ing-wen took office in 2016, the DPP-led government has been accused of promoting separatism and obstructing exchanges with mainland China. However, both Tsai and Lai have repeatedly expressed their willingness to engage in talks with China, only to be rebuffed. The DPP maintains that it is up to the people of Taiwan to decide their future, a sentiment shared by Lai’s main opponent in the upcoming election, Hou Yu-ih from Taiwan’s largest opposition party, the Kuomintang (KMT).

The KMT, traditionally known for favoring close ties with China, strongly denies being pro-Beijing. Hou has also criticized Lai for his support of independence. It’s worth noting that the Republic of China government, which lost the civil war against Mao Zedong’s communists, fled to Taiwan in 1949. Taiwan still officially retains the name Republic of China, and President Lai has previously emphasized that the Republic of China and the People’s Republic of China are not subordinate to each other.

The Path Forward

As tensions between China and Taiwan continue to escalate, it is clear that the issue of reunification remains a highly contentious one. President Xi’s strong stance in his New Year’s address reflects China’s unwavering commitment to asserting its sovereignty over Taiwan. However, the people of Taiwan, through their democratic process, have the right to determine their own future. The upcoming elections will be a critical turning point in deciding the direction of this relationship. The international community will be closely watching the outcome and the respective responses from China and Taiwan.

World

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