Chinese President Xi Jinping promised Thursday to complete "reunification" with self-ruled Taiwan.
The Chinese leader made the comments during an hour-long speech on the 100th anniversary of the ruling Chinese Communist Party.
He also promised to stop any attempts by Taiwan to seek official independence.
China considers democratically ruled Taiwan its own territory and has increased efforts under Xi to defend its sovereignty claims. Those efforts include repeated flights by Chinese fighter planes and bombers close to the island.
In his speech, Xi said, "All sons and daughters of China…must work together and move forward in solidarity, resolutely smashing any 'Taiwan independence' plots.”
Xi also said anyone who tries to bully China “will face broken heads and bloodshed.”
The unusually forceful language appeared to be an answer to criticism from the United States and other countries. Many nations have criticized China’s trade and technology policies, military expansion, and human rights record.
Taiwan's China policy-making Mainland Affairs Council said the Communist Party had reached a "certain economic development." But it said China remained a dictatorship that abused people's freedoms and should accept democracy instead.
The council also said Taiwan's people have rejected the "one China principle," which states that the island is part of China. It added that China should give up its military threats and talk with Taiwan as equals.
"Our government's determination to firmly defend the nation's sovereignty and Taiwan's democracy and freedom and to maintain peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait remains unchanged."
China has never ruled out the use of force to bring Taiwan under its control. Xi called for a process of "peaceful reunification."
But he also said that nobody should "underestimate the Chinese people's…ability to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity."
The government of the Republic of China withdrew to Taiwan in 1949 at the end of China’s Civil War. The Chinese Communist Party took control of the mainland. The U.S. first recognized the government in Beijing in 1979.
Most Taiwanese have shown no interest in being ruled by mainland China. Taiwan says only the island's people can decide their future and have criticized Chinese pressure.
I’m Jonathan Evans.
Jonathan Evans adapted this story for Learning English from reports by the Reuters news service. Mario Ritter, Jr. was the editor.
Words in This Story
sovereignty –n. a country’s independent authority and right to govern itself
resolutely –adv. showing strong will to do something
bully –v. to try to use threats, insults or force to make someone do something
determination –n. a quality that causes people to continue in efforts to do something that is difficult
stability –n. the quality or state in which something is not easily changed or moved
integrity –n. the state of being complete and whole