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Xi’s comment on ‘force’ in Taiwan is not just rhetoric

07 January 2019

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), made the instruction at a CMC meeting held in Beijing. The history between the two governments connects them regardless of whether Taiwan agrees to unify and create "one China" or remain separate.

Official talks between Taiwan and mainland China are unlikely to be held in the foreseeable future now that an understanding meant to allow the two sides to ditch their differences has been redefined, leaving the self-ruled island with no room to manoeuvre, observers said.

In a Facebook post on Saturday, Mr Cho called on the people of Taiwan to stand united against China's provocations and support Ms Tsai, reported news website Taiwan News. Similarly, favorable political relations and the acknowledgment of the independence of Taiwan would prevent any meddling from the United States.

In response, President Tsai said on January 2, that Taiwan had never and would not accept the position that the Chinese communist party has a legitimate right to rule over Taiwan, stressing that cross-strait talks must be handled on a government-by-government basis.

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen has insisted her country won't accept a "one country, two systems" policy favoured by China.

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According to her, if the worldwide community will not support a democratic country that is threatened, it is unknown "what country could be next".

Taiwanese frustration has also been intensified by suspicions that Beijing is not doing enough to inform its neighbor about an outbreak of African swine fever on the mainland.

Taiwan originally split from mainland China in 1949 as the Republic of China (ROC).

The discovery last week of infected pig carcasses on a Taiwanese island close to China's shoreline, which authorities believed floated over, has added to a sense of urgency and frustration in Taipei.

The speech comes after Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen asked the PRC to respect Taiwan's sovereignty.

Su has admitted that he came up with the term before the KMT transferred power to the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) with the goal of keeping cross-strait talks and exchanges going.

The entire armed forces should have a correct understanding of China's security and development trends, enhance their awareness of danger, crisis and war, and make solid efforts on combat preparations in order to accomplish the tasks assigned by the Party and the people, Xi said.

"On account of these differences and the fact they could have led to more cross-strait tension after the DPP took power, I suggested the new term as a common point that was acceptable to both sides so that Taiwan and China could keep up cross-strait exchanges", Su said. "I think this newly elected chairman will work closely with the president", he said. Her party was battered in local elections in November, but since Xi's address, there has been a groundswell of support for her on social media and even in publications that tend to oppose her.

Xi’s comment on ‘force’ in Taiwan is not just rhetoric