Chinese President Xi Jinping says said independence for Taiwan is against history and a dead end. (Photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

China’s leader urges action on unification with Taiwan

BEIJING — Chinese President Xi Jinping, declaring that independence is not an option for Taiwan, urged both sides to reach an early consensus on unification and not leave the issue for future generations.

No one or no party can stop the trend toward unification, the Chinese leader said Wednesday in a policy speech devoted to Taiwan. He said independence for the self-governing island is against history and a dead end.

“We are willing to create a vast space for peaceful unification, but we will never leave any room for any sort of Taiwan independence separatist activities,” he said.

Taiwan’s leader rejected his call just hours later.

President Tsai Ing-wen said her island of 23 million people would never accept the “one country, two systems” approach proposed by Beijing.

“China must face the fact of the existence of Taiwan, Republic of China, and not deny the system of a democratic country that has been commonly built up by the Taiwanese people,” she said.

Taiwan split from China in a civil war that brought the Communist Party to power in China in 1949. The rival Nationalists set up their own government on the island about 160 kilometres (100 miles) off the Chinese mainland.

Xi proposed talks between the two sides to work out “a systematic arrangement for the peaceful development of the cross-strait relationship.”

Tsai said that Taiwan is willing to talk, but it must be with the approval of the Taiwanese people. She has irked Beijing by refusing to endorse the “one China” principle that designates Taiwan as a part of China.

“Deviating from the one China principle will result in tension and turbulence in cross-strait relations, harming the interests of the Taiwanese compatriots,” Xi said.

He pledged that a one-country, two-systems framework would respect the Taiwanese social system and way of life and guarantee their property rights, religious beliefs and other rights.

“The political disputes that have existed for a long time … affect the healthy and continuous development of the cross-strait relationship and cannot be passed from generation to generation,” Xi said.

He warned against foreign interference in the issue, though he didn’t mention the United States by name. People on both sides of the strait belong to the same family, he said, and family matters should be resolved by family members.

Xi said that China reserved the right to use force if necessary to counter interference by external forces and what he called an extremely small number of Taiwanese separatists.

By The Associated Press

Just Posted

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg coming to Alberta

Sixteen-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg is coming to Alberta. The teen announced… Continue reading

Drumheller RCMP seize guns, cash, arrest two

Drumheller RCMP arrest a man and a woman and seize five restricted… Continue reading

Red Deer oilfield related company shutting doors after 25 years

Arresting You Ltd., a safety services provider in Red Deer, is shutting… Continue reading

Party leaders out on campaign trail Sunday turn focus to Toronto

OTTAWA — Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is focusing his attention today on… Continue reading

Investigation requested into death of man in RCMP custody in Sask,

ONION LAKE, Sask. — The RCMP say a young man has died… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: How to pose in photos

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Your community calendar

Wednesday Red Deer River Naturalists Flower Focus Group Meeting. When: Oct. 16… Continue reading

Man and child found dead after house fire in Manitoba early Saturday

NORWAY HOUSE, Man. — Police say a man and a child have… Continue reading

Thousands still without power after snow storm hammers Manitoba

WINNIPEG — It could be days before Manitoba Hydro is able to… Continue reading

Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world in the coming week

TORONTO — Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world… Continue reading

Trudeau dons protective vest as security threat delays Toronto-area rally

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau took extraordinary safety precautions at… Continue reading

Rewards for good behaviour part of school-violence prevention: teachers’ union

VANCOUVER — Hearing about the stabbing death of a 14-year-old boy outside… Continue reading

Wood pulp, steel cables: Scientists study how to make ice roads last longer

The road should have been frozen solid, but it was anything but.… Continue reading

RDC Kings hang on for win over MacEwan University Griffins

A night after Marc-Olivier Daigle stole a win, the RDC Kings exacted… Continue reading

Most Read