Chinese President Xi Jinping warned Taiwan against any independence drive, saying Beijing will never allow the tragedy of the island being “split” off from the rest of the country to happen again.
Meeting with Shanghai delegates to the National People’s Congress, Xi made apparent reference to the Qing dynasty’s loss of Taiwan to Japan in 1895, who then ruled the island as a colony until the end of World War Two, Reuters reported.
“We will resolutely contain ‘Taiwan independence’ secessionist activities in any form, safeguard the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and never allow the historical tragedy of the nation being split to happen again,” Xi was quoted as saying Saturday.
“This is the common wish and firm will of all Chinese people. It is also our solemn commitment and our responsibility to history and the people,” the report said, citing Chinese state media.
Beijing’s policy towards Taiwan is clear and consistent and “will not change along with the change in Taiwan’s political situation”, Xi said.
“Compatriots from both sides of the Taiwan Strait are expecting the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations, and we should not disappoint them,” he added.
Beijing has stepped up warnings against Taiwan since Tsai Ing-wen and her independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won a landslide in the island’s presidential and parliamentary elections in January.
Tsai has said she would maintain peace with China, and Chinese state-run media have also noted her pledges to maintain the “status quo” with China.
Xi said both sides should deepen economic and social integration, and enhance the “sense of a community of common destiny.”
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