China releases white paper on Taiwan question, reunification

By Newsdesk with AFT, Xinhua

The Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council and the State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China published a white paper titled “The Taiwan Question and China’s Reunification in the New Era” on Wednesday.

The document is released afterdays of unprecedented Chinese military drills around the island sparked by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip.

“We are ready to create vast space for peaceful reunification, but we will leave no room for separatist activities in any form,” said the white paper.

China will “not renounce the use of force, and we reserve the option of taking all necessary measures”.

It added, however: “We will only be forced to take drastic measures to respond to the provocation of separatist elements or external forces should they ever cross our red lines.”

The Chinese white paper promised Taiwan economic prosperity as well as “greater security and dignity” after reunification.

The document reiterates that peaceful reunification and “one country, two systems” are Beijing’s basic principles for resolving the Taiwan question and the best approach to realizing national reunification. “Embodying the Chinese wisdom — we thrive by embracing each other — they take full account of Taiwan’s realities and are conducive to long-term stability in Taiwan after reunification”, according to the white paper as quoted by Xinhua.

   “To realize peaceful reunification, we must acknowledge that the mainland and Taiwan have their own distinct social systems and ideologies. The ‘one country, two systems’ principle is the most inclusive solution to this problem. It is an approach that is grounded in democratic principles, demonstrates good will, seeks peaceful resolution of the Taiwan question, and delivers mutual benefit. The differences in social system are neither an obstacle to reunification nor a justification for secessionism,” says the white paper.

The military exercises carried out by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) were initially expected to conclude on Sunday, but have continued this week.

The PLA’s Eastern Theater command said the Tuesday drills focused on establishing air dominance, releasing video and photos of jet fighters taking off and conducting manoeuvres — including in-flight refuelling from a tanker.

Taiwan has accused China of using the Pelosi visit as an excuse to rehearse for an invasion and Taipei conducted its own military drills to prepare for an attack on the island, and on Wednesday released footage of its air, land and sea forces responding to the Chinese exercises.