Chinese leader demands unification with Taiwan
by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 1/02/19, 11:53 am
Chinese President Xi Jinping in a policy speech on Wednesday called for Taiwan to unify with China, saying no one could stop the trend toward unification and that independence for the island nation is not an option. “We are willing to create a vast space for peaceful unification, but we will never leave any room for any sort of Taiwan independence separatist activities,” he said.
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen rejected Xi’s “one country, two systems” proposal, which would leave Taiwan as part of China but with a degree of autonomy, similar to the arrangement with the territory of Hong Kong after it rejoined the country in the late 1990s. “China must face the fact of the existence of Taiwan, Republic of China, and not deny the system of a democratic country that has been commonly built up by the Taiwanese people,” she said, adding that her country is willing to talk but that the Taiwanese people must approve.
Taiwan has been politically separate from China since the Communist Party came to power during the civil war in 1949, when the Nationalists set up their own government on the island 100 miles off the coast of the mainland. Tsai has consistently refused to endorse any designation of Taiwan as part of China.
Read more from The Sift Sign up for The Sift email