China's Xi Jinping threatens resort to 'force' to unify with Taiwan

China's Xi Jinping threatens resort to 'force' to unify with Taiwan

China's Xi Jinping threatens resort to 'force' to unify with Taiwan

"It is a historical conclusion drawn over the 70 years of the development of cross-Strait relations, and a must for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation in the new era", he said.

"China has to squarely face the factual existence of the Republic of China, Taiwan, instead of denying the democratic system that the Taiwanese people have built together".

The primary objective of Xi's speech, said a Taiwanese analyst, is to send a message to the United States that China would not tolerate any interference from Washington in the Taiwan issue.

In this December 1, 2018, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump, right, and China's President Xi Jinping, left, attend their bilateral meeting at the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

"The political disputes that have existed for a long time. affect the healthy and continuous development of the cross-strait relationship and can not be passed from generation to generation", he said. Last year, China also forced global airlines to change their websites and no longer list Taiwan as an independent country.

The president, elected in 2016, rejects Beijing's dialogue condition that both sides talk as parts of one "China" and on Tuesday warned local officials against exchanges with Beijing based on "vague prerequisites".

To accommodate differences in Taiwan's political system and civil society, China has proposed adopting the "one country, two systems" policy, which was implemented in Hong Kong after the British handed the city back to China in 1997.

"Different systems are not an obstacle to unification, and even less are they an excuse for separatism", Xi said in his statement. "The majority of Taiwanese are staunchly opposed to the concept [of one country, two systems]".

China "must respect the insistence of 23 million people on freedom and democracy, and must use peaceful, on parity means to handle our differences", Tsaid said. But what does it mean for China-Taiwan relations?

Chinese President Xi Jinping, center, applauds during an event to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Message to Compatriots in Taiwan.

"With the current situation between China and Taiwan, I don't think there is that foundation of trust for any kind of in-depth discussion of debate on these issues", said Raymond Wu, managing director of Taipei-based political risk consultancy e-telligence, referring to Tsai's ideas.

Last October, tens of thousands of Taiwan independence campaigners took to the streets in the first large-scale protest calling for an outright independence vote since the island first became a democracy more than 20 years ago.

Use of force against Taiwan would hurt China by inciting a response from Japan and the United States, Michael Tsai added.

Wednesday's statement comes amid escalating tensions between the USA and China.

On Jan. 1, 1979, China stopped decades of regular artillery bombardment of Taiwan-controlled islands off the mainland.

In his speech, Xi described unification under a "one country, two systems" approach that would "safeguard the interests and well-being of Taiwanese compatriots".

Taiwan's national flags fly outside the Presidential Office Building in Taipei, Taiwan.

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