Xi Jinping, the Chinese president, promised on Thursday to complete ‘reunification’ with self-ruled Taiwan and to ‘smash’ any attempts at formal independence, provoking a sharp condemnation from Taipei, which called the Communist Party a dictatorship. China, which considers democratically-ruled Taiwan to be its own territory, has increased its attempts to assert its sovereignty claims under Xi, including regular fighter jet and bomber flights near the island.
In a speech on the 100th birthday of the ruling Communist Party Xi said, ‘Solving the Taiwan question and realising the complete reunification of the motherland are the unswerving historical tasks of the Chinese Communist Party and the common aspiration of all Chinese people.’ ‘All sons and daughters of China, including compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, must work together and move forward in solidarity, resolutely smashing any ‘Taiwan independence’ plots’, he added.
In response, Taiwan’s China policy-making Mainland Affairs Council stated that while the Communist Party had achieved ‘some economic development,’ it remained a dictatorship that trampled on people’s freedoms and that the Communist Party should instead embrace democracy. ‘Its historical decision-making errors and persistent harmful actions have caused serious threats to regional security,’ it added.