China warns; Taiwan reunification will spearhead Xi’s policy

InternationalMarch 13, ’23 07:01Modified on Mar 13, ’23 07:32Author: Mark Van Harreveld

China will actively resist “external forces” and “independence” influences in Taiwan. This was said by President Xi Jinping in his closing speech after the National People’s Congress. At this Congress, the president received a third presidential term, important positions at the top were reshuffled.

Xi Jinping greets members of the 14th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in Beijing.
Xi Jinping greets members of the 14th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in Beijing. (ANP / SIPA Press France / Li Xueren)

According to correspondent Anouk Eigenraam, the messages have changed considerably, but they are all confidants of Xi. “They were indeed all appointed to important positions in the party leadership at the party congress last fall. Then it is obvious that they will also all get important positions in the Chinese government, in the government, in the cabinet.

new prime minister

Li Qiang, a former Xi ally, was promoted to prime minister on Saturday. This gives Qiang the second most powerful position in the Chinese Communist Party. Qiang, who previously served as Shanghai party chief, replaces Li Keqiang, who resigned after two five-year terms. According to Eigenraam, Li’s first press conference was highly anticipated: “Different from the previous prime minister, will he give him more space precisely because he is a confidant of Xi Jinping?” Will he perhaps try to deviate slightly from the course?

Those who thought so, however, were disappointed. “All of this was repeating what the president had said, referring to the president’s vision, how important this all was.”

In his speech, Xi laid out his priorities for China. He said there is a need for “national reunification” as the “essence of national rejuvenation”. And with that, Xi puts Taiwan at the top of the Chinese agenda, the relationship between Taiwan and China is the new spearhead of his new political mandate.

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active resistance

“We must actively oppose outside forces and Taiwan independence separatist activities. We must resolutely push forward the cause of national rejuvenation and reunification,” Xi said as delegates cheered loudly. Although Xi had not ruled out violent reunification in the past, he stressed the need to “promote the peaceful development of China-Taiwanese relations”.

“We are going to invest in the army”

Anouk Eigenraam, correspondent in China

steel wall

Xi also stressed the need to strengthen the military. Xi said the military should become a “great wall of steel” to protect China’s sovereignty and national interests. The president also called for greater economic independence and the need to reconcile development and security. “Security is the basis of development. Stability is the basis of prosperity.

“There will be investments in the military,” says Eigenraam. “The one who has now become defense minister was responsible for the development and modernization of the Chinese military over the past year.”

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United States cooperation

Noteworthy: Li Qiang called for more cooperation between his country and the United States. The world’s two largest economies are closely linked economically, the new prime minister said at his first press conference. “China and the United States can and must work together,” Li said. “Containment and suppression are not in anyone’s interest,” he added, echoing President Xi Jinping’s accusations. that the United States wants to prevent the rise of China through containment and isolation.

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