Fri, Oct 20, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Xi to push unification: academic

ANYWAY:While Xi Jinping seemed to indicate a willingness to develop cross-strait relations, China plans to annex Taiwan by 2049, a Tamkang University professor said

By William Hetherington  /  Staff writer, with CNA

Tamkang University professor Chao Chun-shan speaks at a conference at National Chengchi University in Taipei on May 5.

Photo: CNA

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) comments at the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) 19th National Congress indicate that Beijing is planning to ramp up unification efforts, Tamkang University Institute of China Studies professor Chao Chun-shan (趙春山) said yesterday.

Chao cited Xi’s reiteration on Wednesday of the so-called “one China” principle and his inclusion of Taiwan with Hong Kong and Macau in his “realization of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese people” as evidence of unification plans.

However, Xi expressed respect for Taiwan’s social system and the Taiwanese way of life and acknowledged the so-called “1992 consensus” as “historical fact,” which is consistent with the government’s repeated calls for cross-strait relations to be based on the public will, Taiwan Thinktank researcher Tung Li-wen (董立文) said.

The CCP might look for more opportunities for contact with the Democratic Progressive Party in the future, he said.

Xi mentioned the “1992 consensus” four times while reflecting on the CCP’s efforts over the past five years toward unification, insisting on the “one China” principle as the basis for cross-strait relations and expressing determination in seeking “peaceful unification,” Tung said.

Xi also reiterated his “six anys,” which he first described last year as meaning that “[China] will not permit any person, any organization or any political party at any time, using any means to tear any part of Chinese territory away from the country.”

The “six anys” are China’s “bottom line” on moves toward Taiwanese independence, Chao added.

“However, Xi’s repeated calls for the peaceful development of cross-strait relations and peaceful unification means the CCP is hoping to avoid armed conflict with Taiwan,” Chao said.

Xi said the basis for cross-strait dialogue is an acknowledgment that both sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to the same “China,” and that no Taiwanese party or organization would be obstructed from exchanges with “the mainland.”

These comments indicate Xi’s prerequisite for the resumption of an official cross-strait dialogue, Chao said.

Xi’s remarks are only slightly different from President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) inaugural address, in which she acknowledged that a cross-strait meeting took place in 1992, at which both sides reached some mutual understanding, Tung said.

“Although the governments on both sides use different words, the spirit of what they are saying is almost the same,” Tung said.

The government has been complying with public will in its approach to cross-strait relations, Tung said, adding that Xi’s remarks give the sense that he is conforming with this approach.

Xi said that he plans to expand cooperation on cross-strait economic and cultural exchanges and that he wants to provide “Taiwanese compatriots with equal treatment in the areas of study, entrepreneurship and lifestyle in the mainland.”

“If all the sons and daughters of China, including those of Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, follow the great tide of history, equally undertaking the virtuous cause of the Chinese people and firmly gripping the nation’s destiny within our hands, then together we can most certainly create a rejuvenation of the Chinese race and build a wonderful future,” the Chinese president said.

Chao said the speech indicates that Xi has tied unification into his vision for the “China dream.”

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