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Xi Jin Ping stresses peaceful reunification, calls Taiwan secessionists ‘serious threat’ to national rejuvenation

At a gathering marking the 110th anniversary of the 1911 Revolution held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Chinese President Xi Jinping said the Taiwan question will be resolved along with national rejuvenation and warned that secessionists are a serious threat to that mission, and that those who betray the country will face the trial of history.

Analysts from both the Chinese mainland and Taiwan told the Global Times that Xi’s remarks sent a clear and strong signal to the secessionist group within the island and foreign forces who are supporting or encouraging Taiwan secessionism – the national reunification of China will and must be realized and no one can stop the process, the Chinese mainland has both strength and unshakeable determination to realize this common hope for the whole Chinese nation. 

The Communist Party of China (CPC), who inherited the 1911 Revolution leader Sun Yat-sen’s idea and unfulfilled mission in national rejuvenation and reunification, wants to address Taiwan question by peaceful means, but whether the question to be solved peacefully or not, the secessionists who betray and try to separate the country, will eventually be punished, commentators noted. 

The Revolution of 1911, which was initiated by revolutionists represented by Sun Yat-sen, ended the 2,000 years of imperial rule in China and paved the way for profound social changes and ideological emancipation. Sun is hailed as a great national hero, patriot and a great pioneer of China’s democratic revolution, according to Xi’s speech. 

The aspiration of national revitalization that was deeply held by Sun, longing for a bright future for the Chinese nation that was cherished by the pioneers of the Revolution, and the great dream that the Chinese people have aspired and striven toward in modern times have all become or are becoming a reality, Xi said.

He noted that the 1911 Revolution commemoration will inspire national rejuvenation endeavor. 

Chinese communists were the most steadfast supporters, loyal partners and faithful successors of Sun, Xi said, noting that the complete reunification will be realized along with the country’s national rejuvenation. 

Huang Chih-hsien, an attendee from Taiwan who witnessed Xi’s speech at the Great Hall of the People and an expert on Taiwan affairs, told the Global Times on Saturday that “it was truly touching when I saw the mainland is sincerely commemorating Sun and the 1911 Revolution, while the Taiwan authorities are trying to forget or stay away from Sun and his political ideals, some of them even trying to cut off ties with the Chinese mainland and Chinese nation.” 

Sun is the founding father of the Kuomintang (KMT) and the Republic of China (1912-1949), and after Sun’s death, his successor Chiang Kai-shek betrayed the revolution and Sun’s policy to work with the CPC, and launched massacres and a civil war against the Communist Party of China (CPC). Eventually the KMT was defeated by the CPC and escaped to Taiwan in 1949. 

Warning to secessionists

National reunification by peaceful means best serves the interests of the Chinese nation as a whole, including compatriots in Taiwan, Xi remarked at the gathering.

“Compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Straits should stand on the right side of history and join hands to achieve China’s complete reunification and the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation,” Xi said. 

It has become a common practice for the Chinese mainland to solemnly commemorate the Revolution of 1911 at its decadal anniversaries such as the 100th and the 110th anniversaries, but this time, Xi delivered very strong and sharp remarks with a clear message to “Taiwan independence” secessionists, Yok Mu-ming, former president of the pro-reunification New Party of Taiwan, told the Global Times on Saturday. 

“If those secessionists don’t stop, the mainland will take relevant measures,” Yok said. Yok even predicted that the Taiwan question “will be resolved within two years.” 

He also mentioned on his personal social media accounts earlier that the deadline for solving the Taiwan question will be 2024. “Hopefully, we’ll embrace the reunification and the national rejuvenation together.”

A Beijing-based expert on Taiwan affairs who asked for anonymity said the CPC and the Chinese mainland have repeatedly shown great patience and sincerity in solving the Taiwan question peacefully, and that Xi’s latest remark is also signaling to compatriots in Taiwan, as well as the international community, that the mainland’s sincerity and policy remains unchanged so far.

But unfortunately, the current situation is like an old saying in China, “the trees prefer stillness but the wind will not cease,” he said.

“There are some forces, especially the separatist ruling Democratic Progressive Party on the island and the US that are encouraging the DPP to seek secession, are trying to challenge the mainland’s sincerity and patience by increasing the degree of provocation, including strengthening military cooperation and diplomatic interactions,” said Li Fei, a professor with the Taiwan Research Institute at Xiamen University.

“All of these dangerous acts have challenged the bottom-line of the mainland and seriously offended the Chinese people, the US and the Taiwan secessionists are trying to hijack the people on the island to seek their own interests under the risk of war,” Li said.      

Xi sent severe warning to the secessionists at his speech that, “Taiwan independence” secessionism is the biggest obstacle for the national reunification, and also a serious threat to national rejuvenation. “Anyone who intends to betray and separate the country will be distained by the people and judged by the history,” he said, receiving rapturous applause from the audience. 

Three long rounds of applause sounded through the Great Hall of the People when Xi mentioned Taiwan question and sent warning to the secessionists. 

The anonymous expert in Beijing said this is a strong signal and warning to agitators on the island and leaders of the DPP and other secessionists – whether the Taiwan question to be resolved by peaceful mean or non-peaceful mean, secessionists will be judged and punished eventually.

“Maybe there is no need to wait that long, some of them might get punished during the process of the national reunification. We, the mainland, have enough strength and determination to make them pay for their crime of secessionism,” he said.

Huang who hails from Taiwan said the political parties on the island today should also be loyal to Sun’s idea, but unfortunately, they have failed to inherit the mission, and some of them even try to forget Sun, to betray his dream of national rejuvenation and reunification and to serve US hegemony to contain mainland and seek secessionism.

The DPP and the authorities under its control even “try to stop and threaten the people from Taiwan from attending the gathering for commemorating the 1911 Revolution,” Huang said, stressing that “this is truly laughable,” urging people in Taiwan to “wake up” and see “who is walking on the path started by Sun and who has betrayed Sun’s ideals.”

Destined to be reunified 

The ceremony was held amid rising tensions across the Taiwan Straits after US media reported that there were two dozen US troops secretly deployed on the island of Taiwan, helping to train local troops while the secessionist DPP has been colluding with external forces in escalating the confrontation by engaging in salami-slicing tactics. 

Xi emphasized that the Taiwan question is a Chinese internal matter, which can’t be interfered by any external forces. Nobody should underestimate Chinese people’s determination, will and capability in safeguarding sovereignty and territorial integrity. 

The Taiwan question arose out of the weakness and chaos of the Chinese nation and will be resolved as national rejuvenation becomes a reality, Xi said, noting that the historical mission of achieving complete reunification will be realized and must be realized. 

Li said with the increasing of China’s national strength, the difficulties in realizing national reunification or resolving Taiwan question will be reduced day by day, whether for peaceful solution or the non-peaceful ones.

“Although the US is still being vague on its policy on the matter and trying to use Taiwan question as a card to contain China, one day, when the mainland decides to solve the question once and for all, Washington will abandon the Taiwan secessionists and run away, just like abandoning the former Afghan government and Hong Kong rioters and separatists,” said the anonymous Beijing-based expert.

Root cause of tensions

Mainland’s high-profile commemoration of the 110th anniversary of 1911 Revolution sparked slanderous comments from DPP authorities, which called the commemoration “distortion of history.”

In response to such comments, Ma Xiaoguang, spokesperson of Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said on Saturday that the DPP’s provocation in seeking secession is the root cause of current tensions across the Taiwan Straits, and biggest threat to regional peace and stability.

“Taiwan independence” secessionism is a dead end, and has nothing to do with so-called “democracy and freedom.”

“DPP authorities insist on their secessionist stance and gang up with foreign forces to betray the interests of the Chinese nation. These behaviors are completely against the spirit, moral integrity and unfulfilled wishes of Sun Yat-sen. What qualification do they think they have to make comment on Sun and 1911 Revolution?” Ma said.

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