China will not give up use of military force over Taiwan - Xi

China's Xi Jinping Says Taiwan Must Be Unified With Mainland

China seeks the "peaceful unification" of Taiwan but will not rule out the threat of military action, President Xi Jinping said Wednesday as he described the annexation of the self-ruling USA ally as an enduring ambition and an inevitable outcome of China's rise.

Xi made the remarks in a closely watched speech in Beijing marking the 40th anniversary of the 1979 "Message to Compatriots in Taiwan", which called for the unification of "China", an end to military confrontation across the Taiwan Strait and expanded cross-strait interactions.

"We are willing to create a vast space for peaceful unification, but we will never leave any room for any sort of Taiwan independence separatist activities", he said.

But Mr. Xi's offer of "one country two systems" for Taiwan is an important indicator that this will form the thrust of China's efforts in coming years, said Li Zhenguang, professor at the Institute of Taiwan Studies, Beijing Union University.

In 1992, unofficial representatives of Beijing and Taipei reached what has since been known as the 1992 consensus - an understanding that there is only "one China", but each side would have its own interpretation of what that means.

He cited the "one country, two systems" arrangement that preserves Hong Kong's liberal political and economic system after its return from the British as the intended model. Today, more than 30 per cent of Taiwan's trade is with China, while some Taiwanese young people have moved to the mainland to seize professional opportunity in the world's second-largest economy.

But when Tsai's party, which leans toward declaring formal independence and is anathema to the mainland government, lost in nationwide local elections two months ago, Beijing cheered the results as a signal that Taiwanese voters rejected her anti-China stance.

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He explained that similar incidents also occur in " other civilised countries ". He wrote: "I am disappointed with what happened yesterday at San Siro ".

Tsai, responding to Xi's speech at a Wednesday afternoon press conference, said Taiwan would "never accept" such a framework.

President Xi has taken steps to unify the two lands since becoming China's leader in 2012.

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen said Tuesday that its people want to maintain their self-rule and autonomy.

Beijing has also rolled out more extensive policies to court the island's business community and ordinary Taiwanese, vowing in February to give Taiwanese "equal status" on the mainland in areas ranging from business access to social benefits. "Since Hong Kong was returned to China, its freedom and democracy have faced a lot of limitations".

Taiwanese politicians and analysts have long alleged the existence of a Chinese campaign of interference in Taiwan's politics - fears which were amplified during and after Taiwan's November 24, 2018 regional elections - but the exact source, scope, and impact of any organized Chinese meddling remains unknown.

The first so-called Taiwan crisis happened four years later, when the PLA began shelling the islands of Quemoy, also known as Kinmen, and Tachen as the Nationalists - led by Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek - dug in and reinforced their defences on the islands.

In recent years, Beijing has become increasingly assertive over its claims and what it says is a key question of national sovereignty.

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