Chinese President Xi Jinping Said Taiwan Will “Inevitably” Be Reunified With China In His New Year’s Speech

Xi Jinping said the “reunification of the motherland is a historical inevitability.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping Said Taiwan Will “Inevitably” Be Reunified With China In His New Year’s Speech

China’s president Xi Jinping has said that Taiwan – which China claims as its territory – will “inevitably” be reunified with China in his new year’s address.

“The reunification of the motherland is a historical inevitability,” Xi said during his televised speech on Sunday Dec. 31. “Compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Strait should be bound by a common sense of purpose and share in the glory of the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.”

His speech comes less than two weeks before Taiwan is due to hold its presidential election on Jan. 13.

Relations between the two countries are particularly tense, with China increasing both political and military pressure on Taiwan in recent months.

During his speech at the opening of the Chinese Communist Party Congress in 2022, Xi said China was striving towards “peaceful reunification” with Taiwan, but would not rule out the use of force.

Responding to Xi’s new year address, Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, said in her own new year’s speech on Monday Jan. 1 that Taiwan’s relations with China must be determined by the “will of the Taiwanese people”.

Tsai’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which has ruled the country for the past eight years, argues that Taiwan is sovereign and not a part of China, unlike the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) party, which favors closer relations with China.

However, Tsai called for cross-strait relations to be restored, while also hoping for “healthy and orderly exchanges” through “peace, equality, democracy and dialogue”.

Her sentiment has been echoed by her vice president, Lai Ching-te, who is the frontrunner to become the next president.

“On so-called Taiwan independence, Taiwan’s basic position is that Taiwan’s sovereignty and independence belong to its 23 million people not the People’s Republic of China,” Lai said during a presidential debate in December.

Lai has repeatedly said he is open to talks with China, which have rejected his offers and labeled him as a dangerous separatist, according to Reuters.

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