Wednesday, October 20

The president of Taiwan fights back against China’s fighter jets and speaks. Tensions are now rising between China and Taiwan.

– China and Taiwan will meet, insists the Chinese president. He is not well received by his colleague in Taiwan.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen speaks in front of the presidential building in Taipei on Sunday.

It reached its own Chinese president, Xi Jinping, when he entered the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday. In recent weeks, it has shown military strength and sent 150 fighter jets in the direction of Taiwan.

Taiwan believes that it is an independent country. China, on the other hand, believes that Taiwan is a Chinese province and President Xi wants full reunification.

Hostesses serve Chinese President Xi Jinping tea at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday.

This was made clear in Xi’s speech in the huge hall on Saturday.

– Our historic goal of carrying out the reunification of the motherland must and will be carried out, insisted Xi Jinping. He no longer intends to accept what he calls “separatism” from Taiwan.

The tension is rising

There, the message from the Red Assembly Hall in Beijing is not well received. On Sunday, President Tsain Ing-wen responded to a message from her Chinese counterpart:

We will not give in to pressure from China, said the President of Taiwan, in a speech in front of the presidential palace.

– The more we achieve, the stronger the pressure from China, said Tsai. Taiwan’s “China Policy Office” also responded:

– The future of the country can only be decided by the people of Taiwan, the bureau said, calling on Beijing to stop threatening and “causing unrest, harassment and destruction.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping takes center stage at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday.

Warplanes and bad mood

In recent weeks, the mood between China and Taiwan has been, to put it mildly, bad. Pressure from China has culminated in the fact that a record number of fighter jets, some of which claim up to 150, have been dispatched to Taiwan’s air defense zone. Several of the planes will be nuclear-armed bombers. This has provoked the Taiwanese Defense Minister. He calls the mood “the worst in 40 years.” Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has maintained that Taiwan is a sovereign country.

Taiwan has full autonomy, democratic elections, a free press, its own currency, and a military system.

So far, Xi Jinping has not ruled out taking Taiwan by force. He views the democratically elected president of Taiwan as a separatist.

“Taiwan’s pro-independence separatism is the biggest obstacle to reunification with the motherland,” Xi said in a speech on Saturday.

Peaceful display of power?

Despite the Chinese fighter jets, it was noted that China’s president in Saturday’s speech did not threaten military force. On the contrary, he stressed the value of “national reunification by peaceful means.”

“It is in the best interest of the Chinese nation as a whole, including our citizens in Taiwan,” the president said, adding that China wants to protect its sovereignty and unity.

Xi’s speech is considered somewhat more peaceful than his speech on Taiwan. He then promised to crush all attempts at formal independence. In 2019, he threatened to use force to bring Taiwan back under Beijing’s control.

The fact that China is sending a record number of fighter jets to the area is nevertheless seen as a show of power and a warning to Taiwan.

Adam Ni, a China expert living in Germany, believes that it is not a coincidence that this happened around China National Day on October 1.

– The goal is to show the power of Beijing and show military strength, he says.

Several countries have expressed concern about China’s military advance.

China and Taiwan split after the civil war in the 1940s. Beijing has consistently insisted that the island be reintegrated into China, if necessary by force. Only a few countries recognize Taiwan.

Kilder: BBC, AP, NTB

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