Taiwan and China will ‘surely be reunified’ says Xi in New Year’s Eve address
January 1st 2024
By Yvette Tan
Chinese President Xi Jinping, in his annual New Year’s Eve address, reiterated his claim that Taiwan would “surely be reunified” with China.
His message comes ahead of Taiwan’s crucial 13 January elections that will determine the island’s cross-strait policy for the next four years.
He also struck a stronger tone than last year’s message, where he spoke of Taiwan being part of the “same family”.
China has ramped up military pressure on Taiwan ahead of the elections.
It sees the self-ruled island of 23 million as a breakaway province that will eventually be under Beijing’s control. Taiwan considers itself distinct from the Chinese mainland, with its own constitution and democratically elected leaders.
Separately, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen said in her New Year’s address that the island’s relations with China must be decided by the “will of the Taiwanese people”. Her government has repeatedly warned that Beijing is trying to interfere in the election, where a new president and government will be chosen.
Taiwan’s Kuomintang party (KMT) has traditionally favoured warmer ties with Beijing – though it denies being pro-China. The KMT’s main rival, Ms Tsai’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), has ruled Taiwan for the past eight years and takes a stronger line towards China – insisting it is sovereign and not a part of China.