China's Xi Jinping vows to defeat Taiwan's bid for independence, offers 'one-country two system' model instead

Beijing: Chinese president Xi Jinping vowed to defeat Taiwan's bid for independence but offered to extend the 'one-country, two systems' model of Hong Kong and Macao to the self-ruled island to achieve "peaceful reunification" with the mainland.

File image of China's president Xi Jinping. AP

File image of China's president Xi Jinping. AP

Beijing claims the breakaway province of Taiwan to be part of the mainland that must be reunified with it, even by the use of force. "We will never allow anyone, any organisation, or any political party, at any time or in any form, to separate any part of Chinese territory from China," Xi said addressing the once-in-a-five-year Congress of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC).

To resolve the Taiwan question, "we must uphold the principles of peaceful reunification and one country two systems", Xi, also General Secretary of the CPC, said in his address advocating the Hong Kong and Macao model of integration with China.

"Recognise the historical fact of the 1992 Consensus and that the two sides (Taiwan and China) both belong to one China, and then our two sides can conduct dialogue to address through discussion the concerns of the people of both sides, and no political party or group in Taiwan will have any difficulty conducting exchanges with the mainland," he said.

Hong Kong, a former British colony was reunited with China in 1997 under the 'one country, two systems formula'. Macao, a former Portuguese colony was reunified with China in 1999 under the same principles. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the Macao Special Administrative Region have been granted some degree of autonomy to decide on issues other than national defence.

Under the principle, each of the two regions could continue to have its own political system, legal, economic and financial affairs, including external relations with foreign countries. After improvement in relations between China and Taiwan in the last few years, tensions surfaced again as the current Taiwanese president, Tsai Ing-wen had scaled down ties with Beijing to maintain Taiwanese independent identity.

In his address to the CPC Congress, Xi said "we ... are ready to share development opportunities on the mainland with our Taiwan compatriots first." China will ensure that over time, people from Taiwan will enjoy the same treatment as local people when they pursue their studies, start businesses, seek jobs, or live on the mainland, thus improving the wellbeing of Taiwan compatriots,
he said.

People from both sides are encouraged to work together to promote Chinese culture and forge closer bonds between them, he said.

Updated Date: Oct 18, 2017 17:00 PM

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