Premier Li says China will resolutely oppose Taiwan independence

China's Premier Li Keqiang attends the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) as attendants serve tea at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, March 3, China, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Lee

China’s Premier Li Keqiang attends the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) as attendants serve tea at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, March 3, China, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Lee

China will resolutely oppose and contain Taiwan independence, Premier Li Keqiang said in remarks prepared for delivery at the opening of the annual meeting of parliament on Sunday, amid heightened tension between Beijing and the self-ruled island.

China is deeply suspicious of Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, whose ruling Democratic Progressive Party espouses the island’s formal independence, a red line for Beijing, which has cut off an official dialogue mechanism with Taipei.

Tsai says she wants peace with China.

“We will never tolerate any activity, in any form or name, which attempts to separate Taiwan from the motherland,” Li said in a report available before he delivered an annual address to China’s top legislature.

China will protect national sovereignty and territorial integrity while safeguarding peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, Li said.

Defeated Nationalist forces fled to Taiwan in 1949 after losing a civil war to the Communists. China has never renounced the use of force to bring Taiwan under its control, viewing it as a wayward province.

In 2014, hundreds of students occupied Taiwan’s parliament for weeks in protests known as the Sunflower Movement, demanding more transparency and fearful of China’s growing economic and political influence on the democratic island.

Chinese jets and warships carried out exercises near Taiwan and into the Western Pacific on Thursday, as Taiwan’s defense minister warned of a growing threat from its giant neighbor.

Li also said the notion of Hong Kong independence would lead nowhere, and Beijing would ensure that the principle of “one country, two systems” is applied in Hong Kong and Macao “without being bent or distorted”.

Hong Kong, a former British colony, returned to Chinese rule in 1997 under a “one country, two systems” formula, granting it extensive autonomy, an independent judiciary and rule of law for at least 50 years.

Hong Kong students organized weeks of protests in late 2014 to push for full democracy, but Beijing declined to make concessions. Chinese leaders are increasingly concerned about a fledgling independence movement in Hong Kong.

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China’s parliament last year staged a rare interpretation of the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, to effectively bar pro-independence city lawmakers from taking office there.

Communist Party rulers in Beijing have ultimate control over Hong Kong, and some Hong Kong people are concerned they are increasingly interfering to head off dissent.

(Reporting by Christian Shepherd; Writing by Michael Martina; Editing by Robert Birsel)

Source: Reuters “Premier Li says China will resolutely oppose Taiwan independence”

Note: This is Reuters report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


One Comment on “Premier Li says China will resolutely oppose Taiwan independence”

  1. Steve says:

    It was difficult then, to determine the duration of 50 yrs for HK’s extensive autonomy and rule of law. In the last two decades, the US have invaded many countries including Iraq, Libya, Syria
    causing untold sufferings, looting of oilfields, declining peoples lives into poverty, influx of refugees, terrorism and so on. There maybe another great war before the 50 yrs come to an end and the concerns of illegal independent movements will continue to disrupt with the motherland.

    50 years as we know now is just too long. Since 1997, there has being tremendous change and the illegal free independent movement is rampant unless China can find a way under its interpretation of basic law to declare the 50 yrs invalid should another uprising occurs similar to the umbrella movement.

    Problems associated with the littoral states of the SCS have eased, but the geopolitical landscape across the Taiwan strait and pro independence city law makers can still cause an upheaval even though Beijing have ultimate control over Hongkong.