China's Xi Issues Severe Warning to Taiwan

China to US: 'Correct the Mistake' of Passing Taiwan Travel Act or Face 'Military Pressure'

In many ways, this speech was a 40-minute version of the three-and-a-half-hour marathon address that Xi opened the 19th Party Congress with last fall. However, Taiwan is self-governed and receives American military support.

Addressing the parliament's annual session on Tuesday, Xi said Beijing would push for the "peaceful reunification of the motherland", thus enabling people in Taiwan, over which China claims sovereignty, to share the advantages of the nation's progress.

But the message is still clear: "This is an official warning from China's top leader to the US and Taiwan" that "China will never compromise on Taiwan-related issues", Wang Jiangyu, an global law professor at the National University of Singapore, explained to Bloomberg. "The US executive branch has sent more senior officials to Taiwan since Trump has come to office". In the same report we noted how Taiwan had verbally rebuked a package of economic incentives from the mainland to attract Taiwanese investment. While China has incessantly objected to any ties between Taipei and Washington, the Taiwan Travel Act has triggered greater outrage than usual because it grants special status to members of the Taiwanese government that implies a recognition of the legitimacy of that government.

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His remarks, in a speech to almost 3,000 delegates at the close of the annual parliamentary session, came just days after United States President Donald Trump signed a law allowing high-level exchanges between the USA and Taiwan. China has previously asked the U.S.to prevent visits with Taiwan officials. The arrival of US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Alex Wong in Taiwan this week will likely further irritate Beijing. That's certainly what some experts are speculating.

The move comes amid rising tensions between the two countries and just a day after Chinese President Xi Jinping, who has recently solidified his grip on power, warned that Beijing would defend its "One China" principle - which sees the self-ruling island as its own territory, awaiting reunification - by force if necessary. He explained (paywall) his view of Xi Jinping's position to the New York Times: "Now you have nearly all the power in your hands, and you have all the trusted people on your team, you need to deliver miracles".

China has considered Taiwan a renegade state ever since Chian Kai-shek, leader of the nationalist Chinese, lost the civil war to the Communists and fled with thousands of supporters to the island in 1949.

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