Wednesday. 29.11.2023

Chinese leader Xi Jinping called for "reunification" with Taiwan on Saturday, amid heightened tensions between Beijing and the self-governing island.

Unification by "peaceful means" would best serve the interests of the entire Chinese nation, Xi said at a ceremony held in Beijing's Great Hall of the People to mark the 110th anniversary of the 1911 revolution that established the Republic of China.

Officially calling itself the Republic of China (ROC), Taiwan has had an independent government since Chinese Nationalists fled there from the mainland in 1949 after losing the Chinese Civil War to Mao Zedong's Communists.

Beijing considers the self-governing democracy part of its territory.

"Compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Strait should stand on the right side of history and join hands to achieve China's complete reunification and the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation," Xi said, according to a report by Xinhua news agency.

Foreign interference

Referring to Taiwan's desire for independence, Xi said, "Those who forget their heritage, betray their motherland, and seek to split the country will come to no good end."

Without naming the US, which is committed to Taiwan's defence, Xi warned against foreign interference, saying, "The Taiwan issue is a purely internal matter for China."

His comments come against the backdrop of heightened tensions in the region, with Chinese military aircraft carrying out 150 incursions into Taiwan's air defence zone since October 1.

Beijing is also disconcerted that Washington has elevated its relations with Taiwan.

China's Xi calls for 'reunification' with Taiwan, issues threats