China's Xi vows 'reunification' with defiant Taiwan
11 October 2021
Chinese President Xi Jinping vowed on Saturday to realise peaceful "reunification" with Taiwan, even as Chinese air force planes continue to violate Taiwanese airspace in a show of force. Xi was speaking at a meeting to commemorate the 110th anniversary of Xinhai Revolution at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
Taiwan's president Tsai Ing-wen on Sunday vowed to defend the island and its democratic way of life from China and that the country will not bow to pressure from China, showing defiance amid heightened tensions with Beijing.
Speaking at the island's National Day celebrations, a rare show of Taiwanese defence capabilities in the annual parade underlined Tsai Ing-wen's promise to resist Chinese military threats.
"We will do our utmost to prevent the status quo from being unilaterally altered," President Tsai said.
"We will continue to bolster our national defense and demonstrate our determination to defend ourselves in order to ensure that nobody can force Taiwan to take the path China has laid out for us," the Taiwanese leader added.
China claims Taiwan as part of its national territory although the island has been self-ruled since it split from the communist-ruled mainland in 1949 after a long civil war.
Tsai emphasized the island's vibrant democracy in contrast with Beijing's deeply authoritarian, single-party Communist state.
"The path that China has laid out offers neither a free and democratic way of life for Taiwan, nor sovereignty for our 23 million people," Tsai said.
Surveys show Taiwanese overwhelmingly favor their current de-facto independent state and strongly rejects unification with China, which has vowed to bring the island under its control, by military force if necessary.
China, however, said that the remarks by Taiwanese President incite confrontation, distort facts and mislead the public in the name of so-called unity and consensus, say local media reports.
Ma Xiaoguang, a spokesperson for China's State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, said: "Tsai's remarks "incite confrontation, distort facts, mislead the public in the name of so-called unity and consensus while colluding with external forces to seek independence," according to CGTN.
Ma said, "these are the root cause of the tension in cross-Strait relations and the greatest threat to regional peace and stability".
Reiterating that Taiwan is a part of China's territory, Ma said: "The fact has never changed and will never be changed. China's sovereignty and territorial integrity has never be partitioned and will never be partitioned," reported CGTN.