Tension Escalates: Xi Jinping's Issues Firm Resolve On Taiwan's 'Family Reunion'

By Victor Smiroff | Sunday, 14 April 2024 08:30 AM
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In a recent meeting with former Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou, Chinese President Xi Jinping reiterated China's intention to reunify with Taiwan, a move he insists is inevitable and will not be hindered by any external forces, as reported by the South China Morning Post.

The meeting, which took place in Beijing, marked a rare instance of a Taiwanese leader being hosted in China since Taiwan declared independence in 1949. The only other exception was Ma himself, during his tenure as president in 2015. The discussion centered on the contentious issue of cross-strait relations, with Xi reasserting Beijing's long-standing stance on the matter.

China perceives Taiwan as a wayward province that must be brought back into the fold, a viewpoint it expects other nations to share. While Beijing has publicly expressed its preference for a peaceful reunification, it has not ruled out the possibility of a forceful takeover, a prospect that has raised alarm bells in Western countries due to the potential for a global conflict.

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"Compatriots on the two sides are both Chinese," Xi told Ma, according to the South China Morning Post. "There is no grudge that cannot be resolved. No problem that cannot be talked through. And there are no forces that can separate us."

Xi's comments also included a stern warning against any foreign interference, stating that it would not deter China from its intended "family reunion" with Taiwan.

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Zhu Songling, a Taiwan affairs expert at Beijing Union University, noted that the timing of Ma's meeting with Xi was "very favorable," providing an opportunity for both sides to "calmly and rationally convey accurate public opinions."

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In response to Xi's remarks, Ma expressed his hope for mutual respect between the two sides, acknowledging the recent tensions that have sparked feelings of insecurity among the Taiwanese public. "If there's war, it would be unbearable to the Chinese nation, and the two sides of the [Taiwan] strait have the wisdom to handle their disputes peacefully," Ma said.

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It's worth noting that Beijing's relationship with Ma's party is more amicable than with Taiwan's current ruling party, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which opposes reunification with China. The DPP's Lai Ching-te emerged victorious in the presidential elections held in January.

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Meanwhile, the United States has increased its naval presence in the Taiwan region due to growing concerns over China's aggressive posturing towards the island. China has been conducting increasingly assertive maritime and air drills in the Taiwan Strait region, likely as part of a strategy to pressure Taiwan into a peaceful reunification.

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