Xi Jinping warns Communist Party would be ‘overthrown’ if Taiwan’s independence push left unchecked
President tells KMT chief Chinese people would overthrow Communist regime if island’s push for formal separation permitted, media reports say
Mainland China’s Communist Party would be overthrown by the people if it failed to properly deal with Taiwanese pro-independence, President Xi Jinping told the head of the Kuomintang party in Beijing this week, according to the self-ruled island’s media.
The reports, including by United Daily News, quoted unidentified sources who attended the meeting on Tuesday as saying Xi said Beijing’s opposition to Taiwanese independence was “based on the prospect of the great rejuvenation of the China nation”.
“From the position of Chinese people’s nationalism, 1.3 billion people on the mainland would not agree to Taiwan’s formal independence,” Xi was quoted as saying by the Daily News. “The Communist Party would be overthrown by the people if the pro-independence issue was not dealt with.”
Beijing “would not let other international forces intervene” should Taiwan declare independence, Xi reportedly told KMT leader Hung Hsiu-chu.
A member of the delegation contacted by the South China Morning Post refused to confirm or deny the accuracy of the reports, only saying Xi’s words reflected that Beijing did not want to see cross-strait relations descend into chaos and create unrest.
“The most important goal is to avoid social unrest. And Taiwanese can only enjoy life and development in peaceful times,” he said.
Beijing cut off official communication with the island after the independence-leaning President Tsai Ing-wen, from the Democratic Progressive Party, took office earlier this year and refused to explicitly endorse the 1992 consensus, an agreement made that year by the semi-official organisations across the strait to adopt the “one-China” principle. It was an understanding that there is only “one China”, but each side would have its own interpretation of what constitutes “China”.
Xi was scheduled to deliver a 15-minute speech, but he made additional remarks and spoke for 30 minutes, according to the report.
Hung told reporters after the meeting that she asked Xi to consider giving more room for Taiwan to participate in international diplomatic gatherings, to which he responded “there will be no hurdle if the one-China position is respected”.
Zhang Zhijun, director of the State Council’s Taiwan Affairs Office, warned the island against following the path taken by former Taiwanese president Chen Shui-bian, whose push for independence brought the two sides to “the verge of war”, according to an article he wrote in Xinhua. But Beijing would continue to work for the benefit of Taiwanese people, he said.
Zhang Wensheng, a professor at the Taiwan Research Institute of Xiamen University， said Xi’s remarks underscored the importance the party attached to safeguarding territorial integrity. Failure to do so would lose it support among the Chinese people.
Zhang said the article was a clear warning that seeking independence would leave Beijing no other option but to wage war.
Additional reporting by Kristin Huang