Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang said Sunday that the government should promote the peaceful development of relations with Taiwan and China’s “peaceful reunification” process, as well as take firm steps to oppose Taiwan independence.
China says democratic Taiwan is its territory and Beijing has increased its military activity near the island over the past three years in response to what it calls “collusion” between Taipei and Washington, its international backer and main arms supplier.
China staged war games around Taiwan in August in response to a visit by then US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Speaking at the opening of the annual meeting of the Chinese parliament, Li said that Beijing adheres to the “one China” principle, which states that Taiwan is part of China.
He told about 3,000 delegates at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing that the government should implement “our party’s policy of resolving the Taiwan issue” and “take firm steps to oppose Taiwan independence and promote reunification.”
“We should promote the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations and advance China’s peaceful reunification,” he said.
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen has repeatedly offered talks with China, which has been rejected because Beijing believes she is separatist.
Taiwan’s government firmly rejects Beijing’s claims to sovereignty and says only the island’s 23 million residents can decide their own future.
Most Taiwanese showed no interest in being ruled by an authoritarian China.