Taiwan ‘Will Never Accept’ One Country, Two Systems Deal With China - President

Xi'We have achieved great victory on defeating any pro-independence or separatist activities

A Taiwan independent from mainland China is not an option, and no person or party can stop the trend toward "unification", Chinese President Xi Jingping said in a policy speech Wednesday.

Ahead of Xi's speech, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said Tuesday that China must use peaceful means to resolve its differences with Taiwan and respect its democratic values.

Taiwan will be guaranteed lasting peace after reunification, Mr Xi said.

China still sees Taiwan as part of its territory to be reunified, despite the two sides being ruled separately since the end of a civil war on the mainland in 1949.

"China must and will be united", said Xi in reference to unification with Taiwan, AFP reports.

In the wake of Xi's speech, Tsai reiterated these points and called on China to "bravely take steps towards democracy", implying that while she remains president, Taiwan would not be reunited with China under a "one country, two systems" framework.

The speech closely tied the Taiwan issue to Xi's central pledge to make China a global power by 2050.

The first so-called Taiwan crisis happened four years later, when the PLA began shelling the islands of Quemoy, also known as Kinmen, and Tachen as the Nationalists - led by Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek - dug in and reinforced their defences on the islands.

"Foreign interference is intolerable", Xi said, adding that Beijing "will not promise to renounce the use of force".

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In his speech, Xi declared that Taiwan independence was a "dead end" and would only bring "profound disaster" to the island. China has cut direct talks with Taipei, stripped Taiwan of its diplomatic allies and flown bombers and dispatched navy vessels around the island in displays of force.

Democratic Taiwan has shown no interest in being ruled by autocratic China.

Xi has stepped up pressure on the democratic island since Tsai Ing-wen from the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party became president in 2016.

She stressed that Taiwan has been fulfilling its responsibility in maintaining regional stability for the past two years but has in return received threats from Beijing.

"I want to remind Beijing that the global community is also waiting to see whether China is willing to become a trustworthy partner or not".

Despite much publicity over 152 missing Vietnamese tourists, Taipei's efforts to replace the decline in tourist arrivals from the mainland have apparently paid off. Arguably, an additional 1 or 2 million tourists might have arrived had it not been for Beijing's discouragement, although a major push to attract other visitors might not have been implemented.

"I can feel that Xi is desperate to get some quick results on Taiwan", Ding said.

'It's rather empty and doesn't have any new points except that cross-strait unification would not affect the interests of other countries, ' said Fan Shih-ping, political analyst at National Taiwan Normal University, adding that Xi's words may also be intended for the USA, which views Taiwan as part of its Indo-Pacific strategy.

Should mainland Chinese indeed flock to Taiwan in 2019, tourism operators in KMT-led cities and counties could see significant increases in revenue - which will inevitably lead some to attribute the gains exclusively to the KMT's attempt to warm relations with Beijing, while overlooking ongoing efforts to attract tourists of other nationalities under the New Southbound Policy.

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