Taiwan will be “punished by history” if it tries to separate from China, newly re-elected President Xi Jinping warned on Tuesday. The Chinese leader said his country would push for the “peaceful reunification of the motherland” so that more Taiwanese people get the opportunities of China’s development, Reuters reported.
Taiwan governs itself democratically, but China considers the island nation an integral part of its territory, and relations remain strained. Beijing has been more hostile since Tsai Ing-wen was elected Taiwan’s president in 2016, because she refuses to recognise the “one China” policy.
“It is a shared aspiration of all Chinese people and in their basic interests to safeguard China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and realise China’s complete reunification,” Xi said at the closing session of the National People’s Congress, which elected him to a second term on Saturday.
“Any actions and tricks to split China are doomed to failure and will be condemned by the people and punished by history,” he said. “The Chinese people share a common belief that it is never allowed and it is absolutely impossible to separate any inch of our great country’s territory from China.”
Xi’s warnings come days after United States President Donald Trump signed the Taiwan Travel Act. China has opposed the United States bill, as it aims to increase travel and visits “at all levels”, including senior government officials and business leaders, between the United States and Taiwan. The United States does not have formal ties with Taiwan but is the sole supplier of arms to the country.