China and Taiwan, further apart than ever

Rarely have the heirs of Sun Yat-sen, President of the First Republic of China, seemed so divided. This weekend, we celebrated on both sides of the Taiwan Strait the 110 years of the Revolution which, on October 10, 1911, put an end to a multi-millennial empire and led to the establishment of the Republic.

In Taiwan, the Republic of China even made this day its national holiday. In Beijing, the National Day is celebrated on the 1is October, the day when the Communists came to power in 1949, but the leaders of the People’s Republic of China commemorate this previous revolution on October 9, just to show their precedence over the authorities of the island, of which they do not recognize the independence.

Xi Jinping: “reunification must and will be achieved”

On Saturday, Xi Jinping, in the Great Hall of the people, blew hot and cold. On the one hand he recalled, to the loud applause that the “Reunification” from China and Taiwan “Must be carried out and will be” and that the “Secessionists are the main obstacle to reunification with the mother country and a serious risk for national renewal”. For him, “The Taiwan question was the result of the weakness and chaos of the Chinese nation and will for sure be resolved when national renewal becomes a reality”. “Those who forget their ancestors, betray the homeland or divide the country are doomed. They will be definitively rejected by the people and judged by history ”, concluded the Chinese leader. It is above all this part of the speech that was picked up by the media.

However, beforehand, Xi Jinping had been careful to add that reunification “By peaceful means” will be “In the interest of the Chinese nation as a whole, including in the interest of our compatriots in Taiwan”. He even used the term “Peaceful” three times, which after the 150-plus incursions by the Chinese military into the Taiwan Air Defense Identification Zone since 1is October can appear as a desire to lower the tension.

Read also Chinese President Xi Jinping promises peaceful ‘reunification’ with Taiwan

The next day, the President of the “Republic of China, Taiwan”, Tsai Ing-wen, answered her without the slightest ambiguity: “Taiwan must resist annexation or the encroachment of its sovereignty” “The future of the Republic of China, Taiwan, must be decided in accordance with the will of the people of Taiwan” she clarified.

Reaffirming his will to maintain the status quo – neither the president nor any of his predecessors ever proclaimed the formal independence of the island – Tsai Ing-wen believes that “In the face of the expansion of authoritarianism”, Taiwan is ” in the first line “ for “Defend democracy”. And she welcomed the importance taken by her country on the international scene: “In Washington, Tokyo, Canberra and Brussels, Taiwan is no longer [un sujet] marginal », she rejoiced, before realizing that “The more results we get, the greater the pressure from China.”

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