China has said that it will not jeopardize the integrity of its territories, and has warned Taiwan to forget about any separation ideas it might have. The Chinese consider self-ruled Taiwan to be a sacred territory, and on Monday they said that there focus is rather on reunification.
In the Chinese parliament’s opening annual session, Premier Li Keqiang made a speech to highlight their displeasure. The United States have recently announced a bill that aims to make contact between Taipei and Washington more frequent, and the Chinese haven’t been pleased with the developments.
The bill mentions that high-level officials from Taiwan will be given more respect and improved services, when entering the United States to meet U.S officials. It also says that U.S officials of all levels, should be permitted to travel to Taiwan to meet their counterparts. The legislation is not yet a law, as it still requires President Donald Trump’s signature to do so.
The Chinese media have been saying that Taiwan is only increasing the risk of war, as China warned on Friday that Taiwan would only get burnt by relying only on foreign help. That statement has been followed up by Li’s, who said that China aims to move forward on their reunification goals. The assembly was unequivocally approving of his thoughts on the matter, as he pressed that China wants to encourage peaceful growth across the Taiwan Strait.
Around 3000 legislators applauded Li’s statements, about China doing everything to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity. Any attempts to harm this, including Taiwan’s attempt at independence, would not be tolerated, he added whilst delivering his speech in the Great Hall of the People. He also said that Chinese share a bond with Taiwanese, having lived across opposite sides of Taiwan Strait, and that they will create a better future by working together for the greater good of both the nations.
According to Huang Chung-yen, a Taiwan’s Presidential Office spokesman, Taiwan was not the one responsible for negatively impacting the relations between the two. He emphasized that their policies have always been consistent and it was the responsibility of both nations – not any one – to ensure stability and a peaceful environment.
Adding to Taiwan’s concern, has been the increased military presence near the country, as China also announced that it will increase the defense budget by 8.1 percent, as compared to last year. China has been particularly aggressive towards Taiwan since the election of Tsai Ing-wen in 2016 as President, who belongs to the Democratic Progressive Party that is pro-independence.
Tsai has claimed that her priority is to ensure peace between the two nations but the Chinese suspect that she intends to cross the Communist Party lines, by pushing for formal independence.
China have encountered a similar sort of problem with Hong Kong, when back in 2014, protests that lasted for weeks were organized by students for making it an independent state. Li has responded to this, by saying that they will continue to adopt a ‘one country, two systems’ policy for Hong Kong and Macau.