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Taiwan sticks to its guns after Xi’s speech

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen meets a bipartisan US House delegation (Photo: @iingwen/Twitter)

Taiwan has responded to Chinese President Xi Jinping over his statement about separatist forces by saying that the island nation is a sovereign country whose people believe in democracy and freedom.

Local media reported Taiwan presidential office spokesperson Chang Tun-han saying that the majority of Taiwanese have clearly articulated that they resolutely refuse the ‘one country, two systems’ as proposed by China.

In his address at the 20th national congress of the Communist Party of China’s (CPC) on Sunday, Xi had said that China will strive for peaceful reunification of Taiwan with the mainland but will not promise to give up the use of force.

State news agency Xinhua quoted Xi as saying: “In response to separatist activities aimed at Taiwan independence and gross provocations of external interference in Taiwan affairs, we have resolutely fought against separatism and countered interference”.

The Taiwanese government is clearly not impressed or cowed down by Xi’s statements.

Chang said that the national security team is closely monitoring the situation and will continue to pay close attention to subsequent developments. He reinforced Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen’s statement on the Taiwan National Day that a military confrontation is “absolutely not an option”.

The all-important CPC congress is taking place as the world faces rising tensions in Europe with the Russia-Ukraine war and is coming out of the deadly coronavirus pandemic. China too has not let down its pressure on Taiwan and is in numerous conflicts with South-East Asian countries in the Indo-Pacific region.

Taiwan is arming itself to the teeth with support from the US and Japan as tensions rise in the region due to China’s threats of an armed invasion.

Also Read: Xi Jinping focuses big on national security in inaugural address at 20th Party Congress