/ Go to the mediabankSeptember 16, 2022. Chinese President Xi Jinping at an expanded meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Council of Heads of State / Go to the mediabankInternationalIndiaAfricaIn a speech before the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s legislative body, Chinese President Xi Jinping said Beijing would continue to pursue reunification of Taiwan with the mainland through peaceful means.Xi on Monday said his government would actively promote the “peaceful development” of cross-strait relations and “unswervingly” promote reunification with Taiwan. He added that external interference and separatist activities in Taiwan would be resolutely opposed – the same pledges made in an August 2022 white paper on reunification.
On Monday, the new Chinese premier, Li Qiang, emphasized that Chinese on both sides of the strait were “one family” and that the cooling of tensions and restoration of normal trade and exchange across the waterway was “the common expectation of everyone and requires joint efforts.”
Such exchanges have been suspended since Tsai Ing-wen was elected President of Taiwan in 2016, who hails from the pro-separatist Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).WorldUS Intel Chief Haines Tells Congress ‘Not Our Assessment’ That China Wants War Over Taiwan10 March, 21:09 GMT
In response to their comments, Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, which handles relations with Beijing, retorted that Beijing should face the reality that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait are "not subordinate to each other.”
The department said on Monday that Beijing should “respect the Taiwanese people’s commitment to the core concepts of holding fast to the sovereignty, democracy and freedom of the Republic of China,” using the name the Taipei government claims for itself.Xi’s comments also echo the conclusions of US intelligence. Last week, Avril Haines, the US director of national intelligence, told Congress they did not believe Beijing wanted to go to war over Taiwan.
Ahead of the NPC’s “Two Sessions,” during which the legislature handles most of its annual business, one Chinese lawmaker said last month that reunification plans with Taiwan had been put on a “fast development track” without explaining further.
‘One Country, Two Systems’
The government in Taipei is all that remains of the republican government defeated by the Communist Party of China in the civil war in 1949, when the new People’s Republic of China was founded in Beijing. While the capitalist Taipei government claims it is the rightful government of all of China, the socialist Beijing government considers Taiwan to be a Chinese province in rebellion – a position endorsed by all but a handful of the world’s countries. Despite the US switching its recognition of the legitimate Chinese government from Taipei to Beijing in 1979, it has continued to informally but openly funnel weapons and other aid to Taiwan, sufficient to guarantee its safety from “Chinese attack”.
Beijing regards such efforts as interference in its internal affairs, and sees it as encouraging Tsai’s pro-separatist government to pursue more provocative policies, and perhaps even a declaration of independence – which would mean war.
WorldBeijing’s New FM Qin Gang: China’s Rise ‘Busts Myth That Modernization is Westernization’7 March, 18:56 GMTFor a peaceful reunification of Taiwan with the mainland, Beijing has since 1979 offered the island a “One Country, Two Systems” arrangement like that used to bring Hong Kong and Macau, once European colonies, back into the fold as Chinese provinces in the 1990s. Their capitalist systems and liberal democratic legal structure have been largely preserved, albeit under the aegis of China’s market socialist system and a coordinated nationwide security policy.
However, supporting Taiwan’s autonomy from Beijing has become a keystone of Washington’s “great power competition” strategy aimed at preventing the rise of China to equal-standing with – or perhaps even surpassing – the US on the world stage. US generals have regularly warned that a "Chinese invasion of Taiwan" is imminent or on the agenda, except when they are claiming that Xi is rethinking launching an attack based on lessons learned from Russia’s special operation in Ukraine that began in February 2022.
Reports circulating in Western media on Monday claimed quite the opposite of Li, with the British Defense Ministry claiming Beijing was preparing for a blockade of Taiwan later this year and “adopting an actual war approach.” Last August, Beijing demonstrated its ability to do so by staging military drills in the waters on all sides of the island, following a visit there by then-US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. However, it issued the above-mentioned white paper just weeks later, saying it prefers peaceful reunification above all else.