China yesterday said it has the patience to someday bring Taiwan under its control, partly because “compatriots” in Taiwan want it to happen — a view that contrasts with polling showing skeptical views of Beijing in Taiwan.
“With regard to resolving the Taiwan question and realizing the complete unification of China, we have strategic composure and historic patience, and we are also full of confidence,” Qiu Kaiming (仇開明), an official in China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO), told a news briefing in Beijing.
“More and more Taiwan compatriots realize the future of Taiwan lies in the national unification,” Qiu told the meeting on cross-strait ties over the past decade.
He added that “the vast majority of Taiwan people oppose independence.”
However, a survey last month showed that about two-thirds of respondents in Taiwan saw Beijing as unfriendly to their country, the highest level in more than two decades.
More than one-quarter said they backed immediate or eventual independence, while less than 10 percent supported unification at some point.
The polling came just after US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi became the first house speaker to visit Taipei in 25 years, prompting the Chinese military to hold unprecedented drills and send ballistic missiles over Taiwan proper.
China regularly touts the measures it takes to try to win over the 23 million people of Taiwan, such as introducing policies to attract businesses and students.
Last year, it also made it easier for Taiwan’s agricultural and forestry sector to do business in China.
However, it has threatened to take Taiwan by force if necessary. It also punishes businesses and political donors with links to what it deemed “independence supporters,” and strives to counter President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) campaign to boost the nation’s international profile.
Last week, Taipei accused China of bullying a Taiwanese beauty pageant contestant after she was unable to appear on stage at an event in Malaysia.
Qiu’s comments might be an effort by Beijing to manage public expectations after Pelosi’s visit, which some nationalist voices in China urged Beijing to respond to by stopping her plane from landing, or even shooting it down.
Deng Yuwen (鄧聿文), a former deputy editor of a Chinese Communist Party (CCP) newspaper, said at the time that the public disappointment was “a huge blow” to the authority of Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平).
Xi, 69, might spell out his plans for Taiwan at a key CCP congress starting on Oct. 16, when he is expected to secure a precedent-breaking third term in power.
He is to describe unification at the congress as a long-term goal, Japan’s Kyodo News reported on Tuesday, citing unidentified party and government sources.
TAO spokesman Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光) sidestepped a question at yesterday’s briefing about China’s timetable for taking control of Taiwan, saying only that “it’s a historic trend that no one will be able to stop.”
China is willing to make the utmost effort to strive for a peaceful “reunification” with Taiwan, he added.
“The motherland must be reunified and will inevitably be reunified,” he said, adding that China’s determination to safeguard its territory is unwavering.
China has proposed a “one country, two systems” model for Taiwan, similar to the formula under which the former British colony of Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997.
Ma said Taiwan could have a “social system different from the mainland” that ensured their way of life was respected, including religious freedoms, but that was “under the precondition of ensuring national sovereignty, security and development interests.”
All mainstream political parties in Taiwan have rejected that proposal and it has almost no public support, opinion polls showed, especially after Beijing in 2020 imposed a National Security Law on Hong Kong after the territory was rocked by at times violent protests against the Hong Kong government and Beijing’s influence on government affairs in the territory.
China has never renounced the use of force to bring Taiwan under its control, and in 2005 passed a law giving Beijing the legal basis for military action against Taiwan “if it secedes or seems about to.”
China has refused to talk to Tsai since she first took office in 2016, calling her a “separatist.”
She has repeatedly offered to talk on the basis of equality and mutual respect.
Tsai’s predecessor, Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), held a landmark meeting with Xi in Singapore in 2015.
Qiu yesterday said that the Singapore meeting showed China’s “strategic flexibility” toward Taiwan.
That “showed the world that Chinese people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait are absolutely wise and capable enough of solving our own problems,” Qiu added.
Taiwan has never been ruled by the People’s Republic of China, and the the Tsai administration has called Beijing’s sovereignty claims void.
UNCREWED CRAFT: A lack of domestic components and engine outsourcing show the need for Taiwan to develop a local drone supply chain, an analyst said The development of a fully domestic drone manufacturing supply chain is crucial to Taiwan’s ability to use the uncrewed aircraft effectively during wartime, a recent report from the Institute for National Defense and Security Research said. Ukraine’s experience in resisting Russia’s invasion demonstrated that civilian drones can provide valuable intelligence during wartime, but they must be manufactured domestically to ensure that foreign component makers cannot take control of the devices, the report said. In the report, institute researcher Chen Po-hung (陳柏宏) analyzed the security of Taiwan’s drone supply chain. Ukrainians have used civilian drones to locate Russian convoys and other targets, he said,
In the last few days before the local elections on Saturday, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said it is focusing on 10 regions it considers highly contested areas, while the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) said it is stepping up campaigns across the nation. The DPP considers Keelung, Taipei, Taoyuan, Hsinchu City, and Maoli, Yilan, Nantou, Penghu, Changhua and Yunlin counties as areas where its candidates are facing fierce competition, a party source said. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), Vice President William Lai (賴清德) and Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) plan to visit those areas again this week, the source said. The night before the elections,
VOTERS’ CHOICE: The DPP’s Chen and independent candidate Huang conceded defeat before 7:20pm, with Chiang pledging to remain humble and do his best Legislator Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) yesterday won the Taipei mayoral election, with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate defeating the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) pick, former minister of health and welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), and former Taipei deputy mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊), an independent. After polling stations closed at 4pm, the Taipei Election Commission issued a preliminary estimate that voter turnout in the city was about 64 percent, slightly lower than in 2018. Chiang, 43, is to be the youngest Taipei mayor ever, with the KMT regaining the capital after eight years. Chen had an exceptionally high national approval rating when he was head
A naval landing craft on Thursday sank near Kinmen County after wet weather and rough seas flooded its cabin, the Naval Fleet Command said. The vessel, called Landing Craft Mechanized 1326, had completed transport and replenishment missions in the county and was returning to Taiwan proper when surging waves flooded the cabin, the navy said in a statement. The craft’s five crew members tried to bail out the water to no avail, the Navy said. The landing craft eventually sank off Kinmen’s Liaoluo Bay (料羅灣) at 5:18pm, although all crew members rescued, it said, adding that the precise cause of the sinking