The Jakarta Post
Date: January 5, 2019
By: Editorial Desk
It was distinctly a double-edged caveat that Chinese President Xi Jinping addressed to Taiwan on the 40th anniversary of the critical cross-strait policy statement.
Wednesday’s message at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People was intrinsically an echo of the official stand that Taiwan’s unification with China is inevitable. This time, however, it has been couched with the stern warning that Beijing reserved the right to use military force to bring Taiwan into the fold. He has, in other words, reserved the right to precipitate matters if unification with the mainland does not materialise.
“Reunification is the historical trend and it is the right path,” Xi said. “Taiwan’s independence is a reversal of history and a dead-end road.” That assertion of authority coupled with the debunking of independence by an omnipotent Head of State is bound to be greeted with a fair measure of trepidation by Taiwan and her people. Aside from the Taiwanese government, President Xi has addressed his appeal directly to the populace — “All people in Taiwan must clearly recognize that Taiwan’s independence would only bring profound disaster to Taiwan,” he said.
Taiwan, which has never been under the Chinese Communist Party’s control, is China’s most sensitive issue and is claimed by Beijing as its sacred territory. It is pretty obvious that Xi has ramped up pressure on the democratically-governed island ever since Tsai Ing-wen, of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party, became President in 2016. [FULL STORY]