Taiwan reaffirms independence as China pledges ‘reunification’

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Taiwan said on Saturday that the island is an independent country and not part of the People’s Republic of China, after Chinese President Xi Jinping vowed to “reunite” with Taipei.

Taipei: Taiwan and China have been locked in a territorial dispute since the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949. While Taiwan is for all practical purposes an independent island nation, China claims it to be part of Chinese territory.

The dispute has turned bitter in recent months as the Chinese PLA has repeatedly sent fighter jets to violate Taiwan’s airspace.

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After Chinese President Xi Jinping vowed to “reunite” with Taipei, Taiwan said on Saturday that the island is an independent country and not part of the People’s Republic of China, local media reported.

Taiwan’s presidential office spokesman Xavier Chang said Taiwan is a sovereign and independent country, not part of the People’s Republic of China. He said the future of the country was in Taiwan’s hands, Taiwan News reported.

Chinese President Xi Jinping vowed earlier today to “reunite” with Taiwan by peaceful means and stressed that the country strongly opposes any foreign interference in the matter.

“The Taiwan issue is exclusively an internal matter of China, and any external interference is unacceptable,” Xi Jinping said during his address on the 110th anniversary of the Xinhai Revolution.

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Responding to Xi’s comments, Chang said, “What happened after the Xinhai Revolution of 1911 was the establishment of a democratic republic, referring to the Republic of China, not an authoritarian dictatorship.

The current situation in Hong Kong proves that China has abandoned its promise to preserve the independence and democracy of the autonomous region for 50 years.”

The spokesman said that China’s handling of Hong Kong also proved that “one country, two systems” is not possible.

“Mainstream public opinion in Taiwan is very clear,” Taiwan News quoted Chang as saying. He further said that Taiwan rejects “one country, two systems” and will defend its democratic and independent way of life.

China claims full sovereignty over Taiwan, a democracy of about 24 million people located on the southeast coast of mainland China, despite the fact that the two sides have been governed separately for more than seven decades.

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Taiwan, on the other hand, has countered Chinese aggression by increasing strategic ties with democracies including the US, which has been repeatedly opposed by Beijing. China has threatened that “Taiwan’s independence” means war.

On June 1, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged full integration with self-ruled Taiwan and vowed to destroy any attempts at formal independence for the island.

First published:October 9, 2021, 7:28 pm

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