Xi Jinping promises that Taiwan ‘reunification’ with China will be realized peacefully, despite weeks of tensions

Chinese President Xi Jinping has promised to realize peaceful “reunification” with Taiwan, but did not directly mention the use of force after a week of tensions with the Chinese-claimed island, which caused international concern.

“The reunification of the nation must be realized and will certainly be realized,” Xi said on the anniversary of the revolution that overthrew the last imperial dynasty in 1911.

Taiwan responded shortly after by urging Beijing to abandon its coercion, reiterating that only the people of Taiwan could determine their future.

Democratically ruled Taiwan has come under increased military and political pressure from Beijing to accept its sovereignty, but Taipei has promised to defend their freedom.

Xi said in Beijing’s Great People’s Hall that the Chinese people have a “glorious tradition” of opposing separatism.

“Taiwan’s independence separatism is the biggest obstacle to achieving fatherland reunification and the most serious hidden danger of national rejuvenation,” he said.

No comment on the ADIZ intrusion

He struck a slightly softer tone than in July, when his last major speech addressed Taiwan, swearing to “smash” any attempt at formal independence. In 2019, he directly threatened to use force to bring the island under Beijing’s control.

Yet the speech was poorly received in Taiwan.

The presidency said they were a sovereign independent country, not part of the People’s Republic of China, and had clearly rejected China’s offer of “one country, two systems” to govern the island.

In a separate statement, Taiwan’s Chinese political decision – making council on mainland affairs called on Beijing to “abandon its provocative steps of intrusion, harassment and destruction” and return to negotiations.

China’s air force mounted four straight days with the intrusion into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) from October 1, involving close to 150 aircraft, although these missions have since been completed. Xi did not mention these flights.

A fighter against a blue sky.
Dozens of Chinese military aircraft have flown into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone in recent days. (

AP: Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense

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Taiwan says it is an independent country called the Republic of China, its formal name. The Republic of China was established in 1912, and its government fled to Taiwan in 1949 after losing a civil war with the Communists that established today’s People’s Republic.

Taiwan marks October 10, when the anti-imperial revolution began in China as a national day, and President Tsai Ing-wen will give a keynote address in Taipei on Sunday.

China commemorates the revolution by going back to Republican leader Sun Yat-sen’s calls for patriotism, national rejuvenation and good governance.

Xi used the speech to stress the need for “a strong force to lead the country, and this strong force is the Chinese Communist Party”.

“Without the Chinese Communist Party, there would be no new China and therefore no rejuvenation of the Chinese people,” he said.

Xi has tightened party control in all aspects of life and is almost certain to break the protocol and remain as the leader of the Communist Party for a third term late next year, with a Congress electing a new leadership for the next five years.

Reuters / AP

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