Taiwan President to Xi: ‘Taiwan is a sovereign and democratic country’

Beijing, Oct 17 (EFE).- Taiwanese leader Tsai Ing-wen said Taiwan is a “democratic and sovereign” country, in response to Chinese President Xi Jinping, who said reunification with Taiwan “will be achieved,” the island’s sate agency CNA reported Monday.

“President Tsai Ing-wen’s national security team is closely monitoring the 20th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party,” presidential spokesman Xavier Chang said Sunday, referring to the congress being held this week in Beijing where Xi is expected to secure a third term, unheard of among his close predecessors.

Chang said the Taiwanese “clearly reject the ‘One country, two systems'” model that Beijing would apply in case of reunification and that is in force in the semi-autonomous Hong Kong region.

“The consensus among Taiwanese is that no concessions can be made in territorial sovereignty, independence and democracy and that military conflict is not an option for either side,” the spokesman added.

As Tsai said in the recent speech on the occasion of Taiwan’s National Day, Taipei “is willing to work with Beijing to find a mutually agreed solution” that “defends peace and security in the Taiwan Strait,” Chang said.

During his speech opening the congress Saturday in Beijing, Xi referred to “separatist activities seeking ‘Taiwanese independence’ and “gross provocations from abroad.”

“We will pursue peaceful reunification but we will never promise to give up the use of force as an option,” Xi said before assuring that “reunification will be achieved,” a statement that drew the biggest applause at the event.

For its part, the main opposition party in Taiwan, the Kuomintang, sent congratulations to Beijing for holding the congress, while expressing hope that both parties maintain “dialogue, cooperation and the search for common ground on the basis of “opposition to Taiwanese independence.”

The visit in early August by United States House of Representatives President Nancy Pelosi deeply angered the Chinese government, which responded with economic sanctions and military maneuvers in the waters surrounding Taiwan.

China insists on “reunifying” the People’s Republic with the island, which has been governed autonomously since Kuomintang nationalists withdrew there in 1949 after losing the civil war against the communists, culminating in the transition to democracy in the 1990s. EFE


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