Unification Plan From China Finds Few Takers in Taiwan

The New York Times
Date: Jan. 2, 2019
By: Chris Buckley and Chris Horton

In a speech on Wednesday, President Xi Jinping of China called Taiwan’s autonomy a “wound to the Chinese nation.”CreditCreditPool photo by Mark Schiefelbein

BEIJING — President Xi Jinping declared on Wednesday that he wants progress on China’s decades-long quest to win control of Taiwan. But his proposal appeared unlikely to win over residents of the self-ruled island, who have seen Hong Kong’s freedoms in rapid retreat under a similar deal.

Mr. Xi stressed how vital unification with Taiwan is to his vision of Chinese national rejuvenation in his first major speech about the disputed island. The Chinese Communist Party regards Taiwan, a lively democracy, as a historical mistake — a piece of territory that should never have gained autonomy from China. And as an ardent patriot, Mr. Xi finds Taiwan’s separate status especially galling.

Mr. Xi did not lay down a timetable for absorbing Taiwan, which is something more hawkish voices in Beijing have urged. But as he nears his seventh year as president, he indicated that his patience had limits and that he wanted to bring Taiwan into ever-closer political, economic and cultural orbit around China.

“That the two sides of the strait are still not fully unified is a wound to the Chinese nation left by history,” Mr. Xi said in his direction-setting speech in the Great Hall of the People. The political divisions between China and Taiwan, he added “cannot be passed on from generation to generation.”    [FULL  STORY]

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