China’s Xi Jinping vows “peaceful reunification” with Taiwan

Chinese President Xi Jinping vowed on Saturday to achieve “peaceful reunification” with Taiwan, Reuters reports.

Driving the news: Xi said that the biggest barrier to potential reunification with China was the “Taiwan independence” force, saying “those who forget their heritage, betray their motherland and seek to split the country will come to no good,” per CNN.

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  • Xi said he sought peaceful reunification under a “one country two systems” policy, an offer that Taiwan’s presidential office staunchly opposes, per Reuters.

  • “The nation’s future rests in the hands of Taiwan’s people,” according to a statement released by Taiwan’s China-policy-making Mainland Affairs Council.

  • The council urged Beijing to “abandon its provocative steps of intrusion, harassment and destruction,” per Reuters.

The big picture: Taiwan and mainland China have been governed separately for more than seven decades, but the mainland government viewed it as a breakaway province that must be brought to heel.

  • Xi’s speech comes amid mounting military tensions in Taiwan after the Chinese military flew a record 145 fighter planes into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) over the last week, Axios’ Zachary Basu reports.

Of note: In an exclusive, the Wall Street Journal reported this week that U.S. forces have been secretly training military forces in Taiwan for more than a year amid increasing concerns over Chinese aggression.

Go deeper: Biden’s Taiwan test

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