World News

Xi Jinping Warns No One Can Stop China’s ‘Family Reunion’ With Taiwan

Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday he was looking to China’s upcoming “family reunion” with China, warning that no one could stand in Beijing’s way, according to South China Morning Post.

Xi met with former Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou in Beijing on Wednesday to discuss cross-strait relations; China has not hosted a serving leader from Taiwan except for Ma since the island declared independence in 1949, according to SCMP. Xi relayed Beijing’s long-standing message that China will “reunify” with Taiwan, which Ma said should be done through peaceful means.

China views Taiwan as a rogue territory that needs to reconcile with the mainland, and insists that other countries view the island similarly. Beijing has publicly declared that it hopes to bring Taiwan back peacefully, though it has not rejected the possibility of forceful reunification through invasion, a possibility that Western nations fear could spur a global war.

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

“Foreign interference,” Xi said, will not stop China from its “family reunion” with Taiwan.

Ma met with Xi at a “very favorable” time, as it allowed both parties to “calmly and rationally convey accurate public opinions,” Taiwan affairs expert at Beijing Union University Zhu Songling told SCMP. Ma visited with Xi during his tenure as president in 2015.

“I sincerely hope that both sides can respect the values and ways of life of their peoples,” Ma told Xi, according to SCMP. “Recent tensions between the two sides … have triggered a sense of insecurity among the public in Taiwan.”

“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.

Beijing has a better relationship with Ma’s party than it does with the current reigning party in Taiwan, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) which opposes reunification with China. Lai Ching-te, a member of the DPP, won presidential elections in January.

The U.S. has positioned additional naval forces in the Taiwan region in recent weeks amid concerns about China’s hostilities toward the island. China conducts increasingly aggressive maritime and air drills in the Taiwan Strait region, likely in a bid to pressure the island into reunifying with the mainland peacefully.

China’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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