China’s Xi warns Taiwan on independence, sends message to West

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President Xi Jinping on Thursday marked his Communist Party’s 100th anniversary from Tiananmen Square and struck a bellicose tone, reconfirming China’s ‘historic mission’ to control Taiwan while warning other countries not to interfere.

Bloomberg reported that Xi said that no foreign forces will ever “coerce and enslave us.”

“Whoever attempts to do that, will surely break their heads on the steel Great Wall built with the blood and flesh of 1.4 billion of Chinese people,” he said.Xi did not mention any country by name, but the message was clearly intended for the West, in particular the U.S.

President Biden has made it clear that China is the biggest geopolitical challenge for the U.S. In February, he announced the formation of a Defense Department China Task Force to assess the future challenge from China; earlier this month, G7 member states agreed to an initiative aimed at challenging China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Xi called China’s commitment to unify itself with Taiwan “unshakable” and said promised “resolute action to utterly defeat any attempt toward ‘Taiwan independence.’”

The crowd cheered Xi’s comments.

Taiwan and China separated amid civil war in 1949 and China says it is determined to bring the island under its control by force if necessary. The U.S. switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979, but is legally required to ensure Taiwan can defend itself and the self-governing democratic island enjoys strong bipartisan support in Washington.

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