Chinese President Xi Jinping reaffirmed his steadfast dedication to the reunification of Taiwan and mainland China in his recent year-end address. This declaration highlights the persistent hostilities that exist between China and Taiwan. This declaration is being made in advance of the January 13 elections in Taiwan, during which the issue of independence continues to be a central concern.
In his address, President Xi underscored the mutual fate and cultural legacy of the populations residing on both shores of the Taiwan Strait. With assurance, he declared, “The motherland will undoubtedly be reunified,” emphasizing the steadfast position of his government regarding this issue. This is the second occasion in recent days that Xi has addressed the Taiwan issue; he did so previously at a symposium in Beijing honoring Mao Zedong’s birth anniversary, which is 130 years ago.
Presently, Taiwan is experiencing an upsurge in pro-independence sentiment, with recent opinion surveys indicating a preference for independence-leaning candidate Lai Ching-te, which coincides with Xi’s remarks. Xi rejects this political climate in Taiwan and characterizes his vision of a unified China as a “irresistible trend.”
Additionally, the Chinese President’s statements coincide with an intensified year of hostilities, especially in light of the visit of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan in 2022. China reacted strongly to this visit by conducting weeks-long live-fire military exercises around the island.
Since 1949, when it achieved independence from the mainland in the wake of the Chinese Civil War, Taiwan has been a contentious issue in the realm of Chinese foreign policy. The democratic government of the island and its pursuit of independence are diametrically opposed to the reunification objective of the Chinese Communist Party.
The international community closely observes between China and Taiwan as it continues to assert its stance and Taiwan prepares for its elections. Mirroring the broader tensions and difficulties in the Asia-Pacific region, the situation continues to be a delicate and complicated matter in international politics.