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The Call for ‘Peaceful Reunification’ Between China and Taiwan: An Analysis

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In a recent turn of events, China has made a statement urging the citizens of Taiwan to advocate for the concept of ‘peaceful reunification’. This development is set against the backdrop of the forthcoming presidential and parliamentary elections in Taiwan. At the same time, it was met with a counter-appeal from Taiwan that China should respect their democracy and freedom.

China pledges peaceful growth in relations with Taiwan and reunification

The Chinese Standpoint

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, during the annual meeting of China’s parliament, insisted on the ‘peaceful reunification’ with Taiwan. He called for the execution of the party’s policy for ‘resolving the Taiwan question’ and expressed a firm stand against Taiwan independence.

“We should promote the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations and advance the process of China’s peaceful reunification.”

– Li Keqiang –

Sovereignty Claims and Opposition

China’s claim over Taiwan as its territory has been a longstanding issue. The Chinese government has consistently offered Taiwan a “one country, two systems” model of autonomy, but it has, till date, faced outright rejection from mainstream Taiwanese parties.

Furthermore, China has expressed its opposition to Taiwan’s formal independence and any ‘interference by external forces’. This stance was reiterated in Premier Li Keqiang’s address, though he didn’t directly threaten military action.

Military Pressure and Economic Measures

In response to its sovereignty claims, China has continued exerting military pressure around the island. It has also ended some tariff cuts for Taiwan and threatened further economic measures as the vote has neared.

Taiwan’s Response

In response to China’s call for ‘peaceful reunification’, Taiwan’s government emphasized that Beijing should respect the Taiwanese people’s commitment to democracy and freedom. The Mainland Affairs Council, Taiwan’s China-policy making body, stated that Beijing should face up to the reality that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait are ‘not subordinate to each other’.

“China should respect the Taiwanese people’s commitment to the core concepts of holding fast to the sovereignty, democracy and freedom of the Republic of China.”

– Mainland Affairs Council –
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Sovereignty Dispute and Future Decisions

Taiwan has strongly disputed China’s sovereignty claims, asserting that only the island’s 23 million people can decide their future. Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen has repeatedly offered talks with China, but these have been consistently rebuffed as Beijing perceives her to be a separatist.

The Forthcoming Elections

The upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections in Taiwan are likely to be dominated by tensions with China. The Taiwan Affairs Office has cast these elections as a choice between war and peace.

The International Backdrop

Taiwan’s main international backer and arms supplier is the United States. The escalated military activity by China near Taiwan over the past three years is seen as a response to what it calls ‘collusion’ between Taipei and Washington.

In August, China staged war games around Taiwan in response to a visit to Taipei by then-U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. This serves to underline the global importance of the China-Taiwan dynamics and the potential implications for international relations.

Conclusion

The call for ‘peaceful reunification’ between China and Taiwan has sparked a new round of discourse on the longstanding issue of sovereignty claims and the future of Taiwan. While China stands firm on its ‘one country, two systems’ model, Taiwan continues to uphold its commitment to democracy and freedom. With the upcoming elections, the narrative is likely to evolve further, bringing new dimensions to the China-Taiwan dynamics and their implications for world politics.

“The motherland will eventually be reunified, and it will inevitably be reunified.”

– Song Tao, head of China’s Taiwan Affairs Office –

In the end, the path to ‘peaceful reunification’ is a complex and delicate one, fraught with divergent ideologies, political interests, and international pressures. It remains to be seen how this narrative will unfold in the times to come.

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