China says reunification with Taiwan 'must be realised'

Chinese President Xi Jinping applauds at a meeting commemorating the 110th anniversary of Xinhai Revolution at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China October 9, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Chinese President Xi Jinping applauds at a meeting commemorating the 110th anniversary of Xinhai Revolution at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China October 9, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

'Reunification through a peaceful manner is the most in line with the overall interest of the Chinese nation, including Taiwan compatriots,' said Chinese leader Xi Jinping

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China has said reunification with Taiwan "must be realised, and definitely will be realised" as tensions between the two continue to ratchet up.

The country's leader Xi Jinping spoke on at an official celebration in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People the focused largely on the need for the ruling Communist Party to continue to lead China as the country rises in power and influence.

“Reunification of the nation must be realised, and will definitely be realised,” he said.

“Reunification through a peaceful manner is the most in line with the overall interest of the Chinese nation, including Taiwan compatriots.”

The celebration was in honour of the 110th anniversary of the Chinese revolution in 1911 leading to the overthrow of the Qing dynasty and establishment of the Republic of China led by Sun Yat-sen.

October 10 is celebrated in Taiwan as National Day and Mr Xi’s address touched on common aspirations for a unified future, despite the stark differences between China’s authoritarian one-party system and Taiwan’s vibrant multi-party democracy.

Mr Xi’s remarks came just days after the Chinese military sent a record number of military aircraft flying towards Taiwan in exercises that the self-ruled island has called a threat.

A navy soldier adjusts a Taiwan flag onboard ROCS Chang Chien (PFG2-1109) ahead of the National day celebration in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, October 9, 2021. REUTERS/Ann Wang
A navy soldier adjusts a Taiwan flag onboard ROCS Chang Chien (PFG2-1109) ahead of the National day celebration in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, October 9, 2021. REUTERS/Ann Wang

Over the course of four days, starting last week, the People’s Liberation Army flew fighter jets, bombers and airborne early warning aircraft 149 times towards Taiwan, with the largest manoeuvre involving 52 jets at once. Taiwan and China split in 1949 amid civil war, with the then ruling Nationalist Party fleeing to the island as Mao Zedong’s Communists swept to power on the mainland.

Since then, Taiwan has been self-ruled, but its sovereignty is denied by Beijing, which has refused to renounce the option of using force to bring the island under its control.

Beijing has also sought to isolate Taiwan internationally by barring it from the United Nations and other international organisations and opposing official contacts between its government and nations that recognise China, especially the United States, which is legally bound to consider threats against Taipei a matter of “grave concern”.

“Taiwanese separatism is the biggest obstacle to the motherland’s reunification,” Mr Xi added, saying those who advocated for independence would be “condemned by history”.