Chinese President Xi Jinping has urged reunification with Taiwan in a speech. According to him, this should be done “non-violently”.
The speech was part of the commemoration of the 110th anniversary of the Chinese revolution when the Qing dynasty was overthrown. The event will also be celebrated in Taiwan tomorrow. However, there is now dismay. “The future of the country is in the hands of the Taiwanese people,” said President Tsai Ing-wen’s spokesman.
Military tensions between China and Taiwan have risen sharply in recent weeks. A record number of Chinese military aircraft flew through Taiwan’s airspace. After its secession in 1949, Beijing considered Taiwan a renegade province and not an independent state.
“Achieving reunification peacefully is in the common interest of the Chinese nation and of our compatriots in Taiwan,” said the Chinese president. He also warned against foreign interference after it emerged that the Taiwanese army had been receiving support from the United States for months.
“Promise not kept”
The island state emphasizes that it is a “sovereign and independent country”, and therefore not part of the People’s Republic of China. “The 1911 revolution established a democratic republic, not an authoritarian dictatorship,” it sounds. “Democracy was really realized in Taiwan.”
In 1997, the former British crown colony of Hong Kong was returned to China. The Taiwanese spokesman accuses Beijing of breaking its promises there. Nothing would change in Hong Kong for fifty years, but the Chinese did not keep that promise.