China’s President Xi Jinping on Sunday opened the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) in Beijing by pledging to take control of Taiwan and advocating the “one country, two systems” policy, according to the state-run media.
In a speech to nearly 2,300 party members at Beijing's Great Hall of the People, the Chinese president said: “Resolving the Taiwan question is a matter for the Chinese, a matter that must be resolved by the Chinese.”
“We will continue to strive for peaceful reunification with the greatest sincerity and the utmost effort, but we will never promise to renounce the use of force, and we reserve the option of taking all measures necessary. This is directed solely at interference by outside forces and the few separatists seeking 'Taiwan independence' and their separatist activities; it is by no means targeted at our Taiwan compatriots,” the state-run media quoted the president as saying.
"We have always shown respect and care for our Taiwan compatriots and worked to deliver benefits to them. We will continue to promote economic and cultural exchanges and cooperation across the Strait," Xi said.
“The policy of ‘One Country, Two Systems’ is a great innovation of socialism with Chinese characteristics. It has proven to be the best institutional arrangement for ensuring sustained prosperity and stability in Hong Kong and Macao after their return to the motherland."
“This policy must be adhered to over the long term,” the president said.
The summit is held every five years where party delegates decide future policies and back new leadership roles.
“We will fully, faithfully, and resolutely implement the policy of ‘One Country, Two Systems,’ under which the people of Hong Kong administer Hong Kong and the people of Macao administer Macao, both with a high degree of autonomy. We will remain committed to law-based governance in Hong Kong and Macao," Xi said.
Xi Jinping also listed major principles to build a "modern socialist China" in all respects.
“On the journey ahead, we must firmly adhere to the major principles of upholding and strengthening the Party's overall leadership, following the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, applying a people-centered development philosophy, remaining committed to deepening reform and opening up as well as carrying forward our fighting spirit,” Xi said.
"Our future is bright, but we still have a long way to go," he said.
The quintessential summit is being held when the US sees China as its major rival and is mulling steps to liquidate dependency on Chinese supply chains. The two nations hold the world’s top two economies, respectively, and they have strong militaries.
It also comes on the heels of renewed tensions in Taiwan Strait as Washington flew US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on an unannounced trip to the self-ruled island which Beijing saw as the biggest provocation from the West.
China considers Taiwan its “breakaway province,” but Taipei insists on independence since 1949, maintaining independent diplomatic relations with 14 nations.