Beginning his second term as China’s president – and with no term limit, President Xi Jinping warned Taiwan that efforts to separate from China will be “punished by history.”
During an address to the National People’s Congress, Xi recently said China is capable of stopping Taiwan from separating. China considers Taiwan to be a wayward province that they claim sovereignty over. However, Taiwan is self-governed and receives American military support.
“All acts and schemes to split China are doomed to failure and will be condemned by the people and punished by history,” Xi said. “The Chinese people have the firm will, full confidence and sufficient ability to defeat all activities to split the country.”
“Every inch of our great motherland’s territory cannot be separated from China,” he said.
Xi was recently re-elected to serve a second term as China’s president shortly after a provision was removed that would have allowed him to serve only two terms. With the provision’s removal, Xi can serve indefinitely.
Tensions between Taiwan and China have risen since 2016 when Tsai Ing-wen won Taiwan’s 2016 presidential election. President Ing-wen wants to declare independence from China but also wants to maintain peace between the countries.
Relations among China, Taiwan and the United States have relied on the “One-China” policy for several decades, which maintains that Taiwan and mainland China are inalienable countries part of “one” China nation.
Last week, President Donald Trump signed the Taiwan Travel Act into law despite showing support for the “One-China” policy last year.
The Taiwan Travel Act encourages U.S. government officials to travel to Taiwan for meetings, which is in direct contrast of China’s “One-China” policy. China has previously asked the U.S. to prevent visits with Taiwan officials.
“China demands that the U.S. keep its promises, rectify its wrongs, refrain from implementing relevant clauses of the bill and stop seeking any official contacts, military ties or arms sales with Taiwan, so as to avoid doing serious harm to the China-U.S. relationship, the ties between the two countries’ militaries and the peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian said last week.
Taiwan foreign ministry spokesman Andrew Lee said that Taiwan looks forward to more talks with the U.S. and that they won’t be affected by Chinese interference.
“Mainland China has repeatedly resorted to negative measures to force Taiwan to accept its one-sided design for the development of cross-strait relations, ignoring Taiwan’s dignity and the public’s hopes, and refusing to improve relations through good-tempered communications,” Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Office said in a statement.