China will never renounce right to use force over Taiwan, Xi says

BEIJING/TAIPEI, Oct 16 (Reuters) – It is up to the Chinese people to resolve the Taiwan issue and China will never renounce the right to use force but seek a peaceful solution, President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday Sunday at the opening of the Taiwan question, a large party meeting.

Taiwan, which considers China its own territory, responded that it would not relinquish its sovereignty or compromise freedom and democracy.

Tensions between Beijing and Taipei increased dramatically in August after China staged war games near Taiwan following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. These military activities continued, albeit at a reduced pace.

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Speaking at the opening of the 20th Party Congress of the ruling Communist Party in Beijing, Xi said China has always “respected, cared for and benefited from the Taiwanese people” and is committed to promoting cross-strait economic and cultural exchanges .

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“Resolving the Taiwan issue is up to the Chinese people, and the decision is up to the Chinese people,” he said.

“We insist on pursuing the prospect of peaceful reunification with the utmost sincerity and best efforts, but we will never promise to refrain from the use of force, reserving the option of taking any action necessary.”

This option targets “interference” by outside forces and a “very small number” of supporters of Taiwan independence, rather than the vast majority of Taiwan’s people, Xi said.

“The historic wheels of national reunification and national rejuvenation are rolling forward, and the full reunification of the motherland must be achieved, and it must be achieved!” added to a long round of applause.

Taiwan’s presidential office responded that the Republic of China – the island’s official name – was a sovereign and independent state.

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“Taiwan’s position is firm: no withdrawal of national sovereignty, no compromise on democracy and freedom, and meeting on the battlefield is absolutely not an option for the two sides of the Taiwan Strait,” it said in a statement.

“This is the consensus of Taiwan’s people,” the presidential office said, adding that the National Security Team is closely monitoring developments at the congress.

In her National Day speech on Monday, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said war between Taiwan and China is not an option and reiterated her willingness to talk with Beijing, even as she vowed to further strengthen Taiwan’s defenses.

Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Taiwan Premier Su Tseng-chang – who was sanctioned by China last year and said he is a separatist – said Xi should focus on his own people.

Referring to rare political protest banners on an overpass in Beijing, Su said Thursday, “Xi Jinping should pay attention to the smoke and protest banners on Beijing’s Sitong Bridge instead of always thinking about using force to deal with Taiwan.” .”

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China refuses to speak to Tsai, believing her to be a separatist.

Beijing has offered Taiwan a “one country, two systems” model of autonomy, the same formula it uses for Hong Kong. But all mainstream Taiwanese political parties have rejected the proposal, and opinion polls show it has almost no public support.

Taiwan says only its people can decide its own future and that Beijing’s claims are void because the People’s Republic of China has never ruled any part of the island.

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Reporting by Yew Lun Tian and Ben Blanchard; Adaptation by William Mallard

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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