Taiwan Strait Situation 'Complex and Grim', Xi Jinping Says as He Calls for 'National Reunification'
10:52 GMT 26.09.2021 (Updated: 12:42 GMT 19.06.2023)
Earlier this year, the Chinese Foreign Ministry called on Taiwan – an island Beijing considers an integral part of China – to acknowledge its future lies in "reunification".
Chinese President Xi Jinping has warned of a complicated situation in the Taiwan Strait
, calling for more efforts to ensure peace and security in the area.
In a congratulatory letter to Eric Chu, the newly elected leader of the Kuomintang (KMT), Taiwan's main opposition party, Xi stressed that "at present, the situation in the Taiwan Strait is complex and grim" and that "all the sons and daughters of the Chinese nation must work together with one heart and go forward together".
Xi added that both China's ruling Communist Party and the KMT have had "good interactions", something that he claimed is based on both parties' opposition to Taiwan's push for independence.
The Chinese president expressed hope that both parties could cooperate on "seeking peace in the Taiwan Strait" as well as "seeking national reunification and […] national revitalisation".
The statement came after Chu pledged on Saturday that he would adhere to the so-called "1992 consensus" between Beijing and the KMT, which stipulates that there is only one China but that both sides are free to interpret what that means.
This was preceded by Shi Yi, a spokesperson for the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), saying earlier in September that the PLA's Eastern Theatre Command will remain on high alert after the American missile destroyer USS Barry's recent transit through the Taiwan Strait.
"The US' frequent provocations of this kind sufficiently show that it [Washington] is the destroyer of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, and a security risk creator in the region", Shi stated.
The remarks followed the US Navy stating that the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, USS Barry, conducted a "routine" transit through the Taiwan Strait, in a mission implemented "in accordance with international law".
Beijing has repeatedly criticised Washington for sailing its warships through the Taiwan Strait, characterising the transits as "dangerous" behaviour that "severely harms peace and stability" in the region.
10 September 2021, 18:02 GMT
Officially known as the Republic of China (ROC), Taiwan severed all ties with mainland China in 1949, following the Chinese Civil War, in which Mao Zedong's communist forces of the People's Republic of China (PRC) defeated the Kuomintang nationalists and forced them to flee to the island.
With both the ROC and the PRC claiming the country's territory, the UN recognised the PRC as the one and only legal China in 1971.
Beijing considers the island an integral part of the country, and adheres to a policy of peaceful reunification under a "One China – Two Systems" model.
The US does not have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan
but maintains a representative office in the island's capital Taipei, and is its biggest supplier of military equipment.