China's Reunification With Taiwan 'Will Definitely Be Fulfilled', Xi Jinping Says as Tensions Grow
08:27 GMT 09.10.2021 (Updated: 12:42 GMT 19.06.2023)
China continues to perceive Taiwan as a breakaway province, while the authorities in Taipei have repeatedly rejected Beijing's proposal to stick to the "one country, two systems" principle.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has pledged that his country's peaceful "reunification" with Taiwan under a "one country, two systems" policy
will "definitely" be implemented.
He spoke at a meeting in Beijing on Friday to commemorate the 110th anniversary of the Xinhai Revolution that ended the nation's last imperial dynasty and led to the establishment of the Republic of China.
"To achieve the reunification of the motherland by peaceful means is most in line with the overall interests of the Chinese nation, including our compatriots in Taiwan", Xi stressed.
He urged Taiwan to "stand on the right side of history jointly to create the glorious cause of the full reunification and the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation".
Xi did not name any country directly when he warned of foreign interference in "the Taiwan issue", which the president said was "entirely China's internal affair".
"No one should underestimate the Chinese people's determination and strong ability to defend [our] national sovereignty and territorial integrity. The historical task of the complete reunification of the motherland must be fulfilled, and it will definitely be fulfilled", Xi emphasised.
Full-Blown Invasion of Taiwan by 2025?
The remarks follow Taiwan's Defence Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng telling reporters earlier this week that China could be capable of mounting a "full-scale" invasion of the island by 2025. He also argued that China-Taiwan tensions are now at their worst in 40 years.
Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen, for her part, told a security forum in Taipei on Friday that although her government was not interested in a military conflict, the island would do "whatever it takes to defend its freedom and democratic way of life".
This comes after The Wall Street Journal cited unnamed sources as saying that about two dozen US special operations forces and marines have been secretly training Taiwanese troops "for at least a year".
The sources claimed that the training started before Joe Biden took office as president in January 2021.
13 September 2021, 14:15 GMT
In a sign of mounting tensions, the Chinese military sent almost 40 fighter jets to fly near Taiwan's air defence identification zone for two days in a row in early October. Taiwan's Prime Minister Su Tseng-chang responded by condemning the flights as "brutal and barbarian actions" allegedly jeopardising regional peace.
Adding fuel to the fire is the US sending its warships to the Taiwan Strai
t, which separates the island from the mainland. China sees such missions as provocations, describing Washington as "the destroyer of peace and stability" in the Taiwan Strait and "a security risk creator in the region".
Officially known as the Republic of China (ROC), Taiwan broke off all relations with mainland China in 1949, following the Chinese Civil War. At the time, 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.
3 October 2021, 14:29 GMT
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.