Xi Jinping declares Taiwan "must and will be" reunited with China

Arturo Kim
January 3, 2019

"We have never accepted the "1992 consensus.' The fundamental reason is because the "1992 consensus" as defined by Beijing is in fact the 'one China principle" and 'one China, two systems" formula", Tsai said.

President Xi made the comments in a speech on the 40th anniversary of a key policy statement that eventually lead to a thaw in relations with the self-ruled island.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday that the people of Taiwan ought to accept peaceful reunification with the mainland as an inevitability while adding the important caveat that Beijing still reserves the right to use force to achieve this aim. Beijing, and some in Taiwan, maintain a "One China" theory that the island and the mainland belong under the same umbrella - although they dispute who should be ruling.

Taiwan's benchmark Taiex index extended declines, falling as much as 1.9 percent, amid a broader slide across the region driven by worsening manufacturing data in China and Taiwan as well as continued trade jitters. But what does it mean for China-Taiwan relations? His was the first presidency under the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party, and Beijing sought to continue its engagement with the island via inter-party communication, with Jiang's successor, Hu Jintao, meeting the Kuomintang's honorary chairman Lien Chan numerous times during that period.

Hong Kong was a former British territory, but was given back to China in 1997 under the condition that it would keep a "high degree of autonomy" and not be subjected to China's socialist economic policies.

China translates the word "tong yi" as "reunification", but it can also be translated as "unification", a term in English preferred by supporters of Taiwan independence who point out the Communist government has never ruled Taiwan and so it cannot be "reunified".

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.

However, he reiterated "we will not renounce the use of force or give up the option to use all necessary measures" to serve that end and crack down on Taiwan independence.

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Xi warned against foreign interference in the issue, though he didn't mention the United States by name.

Democratic Taiwan has shown no interest in being controlled by Beijing.

"After peaceful reunification, Taiwan will have lasting peace and the people will enjoy good and prosperous lives".

"With the great motherland's support, Taiwan compatriots' welfare will be even better, their development space will be even greater", he said.

"I don't think the speech was negative", said David Lu, vice president of the equity department at Taishin International Bank in Taipei. Beijing has regularly sent military aircraft and ships to circle the island on drills.

President Xi acknowledged the difference in the political systems of China and Taiwan, but dismissed it being an obstacle, saying the one-country-two-systems model will ensure the "social systems and lifestyles of Taiwan compatriots will be fully respected".

Decades later, China has again been rebuffed.

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