Taiwanese would not submit to Chinese pressures, President TsaiIng-wen stated in Sunday’s speech

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a speech in Beijing on Saturday commemorating the revolution that overturned Qing imperial rule.



Foto:

Andy Wong/Associated Press

By

Hong Kong

Taipei

Chinese President

Xi Jinping

called for a “peaceful reunification” with Taiwan days after China’s People’s Liberation Army sent a record 56 bombers and other aircraft on sorties near the self-ruled island in a single day.

Taiwanese President TsaiIng-wen responded in a speech that day, saying Taiwanese would not submit to Chinese pressure.

” The historical task for the total reunification and preservation of the motherland has to be completed, Mr. Xi stated in Beijing Saturday. He also said that peacefully achieving this goal is in the best interests of Taiwanese people.

Mr. Xi’s remarks were part of a speech that marked the 110th anniversary of the revolution that overturned Qing imperial rule in China. The Communists and Nationalists fought for control over China in the years that followed. This led eventually to the civil war between Taiwan and China. The island was occupied by the Nationalist Forces, with the help of a communist leader.

Mao Zedong

proclaimed the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949.

The Communist Party regards Taiwan as part of China, even though it has never ruled the country. It vows to seize control by force, if necessary.

Mr. Xi had long talked of achieving what Beijing calls a peaceful reunification between Taiwan and China, but these remarks were made as concern grew within the U.S. over China’s decades-long military buildup in recent years and recent threats against Taiwan.

The PLA has flown 150 sorties near Taiwan so far this month, a blitz that has sparked expressions of concern from the U.S., U.K. and Germany.

On Thursday, The Wall Street Journal reported that a small number of American troops have been secretly training local military forces on the island.

Taiwan is the greatest obstacle to Beijing’s unification goal and a “serious hidden threat to national revitalizion,” said Mr. Xi. “Those who abandon their ancestors or betray the motherland, or divide the country are doomed,” Xi said. He added that they will be judged and rejected by the people.

Mr. Xi stated that Taiwan’s issue is China’s own internal matter and that any interference from outside is not allowed. He did this without naming any country. In his speech, he didn’t mention Taiwanese force.

Taiwanese jet fighters in Taipei on Sunday.



Foto:

Chiang Yingying/Associated Press

Ms. Tsai spoke on Sunday to mark the occasion and pledged that Taiwan would maintain its relations with China. She said, “There should not be any illusions” regarding the willingness of the Taiwanese to resist Beijing.

” No one can force Taiwan onto the path China has paved for it,” she stated, promising to strengthen the island’s defenses.

Shortly after she spoke, Taiwanese soldiers paraded weapons made in Taiwan through Taipei’s heart. Jet fighters flew over the area and two helicopters flew above carrying Taiwanese flags.

Write to Elaine Yu at elaine.yu@wsj.com and Joyu Wang at joyu.wang@wsj.com

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