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Taiwan to face ‘punishment of history’ over any separatist move: Xi

20 March 2018 13:42

In his strongest warning yet to Taiwan, China’s President Xi Jinping says the self-ruled island will face the “punishment of history” for any attempt to split the mainland.

Addressing the parliament’s annual session on Tuesday, Xi said Beijing would push for the “peaceful reunification of the motherland,” thus enabling people in Taiwan, over which China claims sovereignty, to share the advantages of the nation’s progress.

“It is a shared aspiration of all Chinese people and in their basic interests to safeguard China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and realize China’s complete reunification,” he said.

“Any actions and tricks to split China are doomed to failure and will meet with the people’s condemnation and the punishment of history,” said the president, drawing loud applause from over 3,000 delegates at the parliament.

The warning came days after US President Donald Trump infuriated Beijing by signing off on new rules which allow top American US officials to travel to Taiwan and meet their counterparts in Taipei.

Trump signs US-Taiwan travel bill, angers China

President Trump has signed legislation, allowing US officials to travel to Taiwan to meet their Taiwanese counterparts.

Taipei has thanked the US for adopting the law, which set a new precedent against Washington’s long-running “One-China”

China and Taiwan split amid a civil war in 1949, but Beijing’s leadership pursues their reunification.

Beijing has been wary since the election of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, a member of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party, in 2016.

It is also concerned by the United States’ attitude towards the island.

China calls on US to ‘correct mistake’ on Taiwan

Beijing calls on Washington to “correct its mistake” of approving high-level contact between officials from US and Taiwan, which China claims sovereignty over.

Xi further 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.”

He, however, asserted that China was not seeking to pose any threats to any other side.

In 1979, the US adopted the “One China” policy of recognizing Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan.

Under the policy, the US recognizes a united China and has formal ties with the government in Beijing rather than with Taiwan.

Trump had previously undermined that policy by taking a congratulatory phone call from the Taiwanese president after his election victory in November 2016, but he later reaffirmed commitment to “One China” policy.

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