Li Shangfu’s position on Taiwan has been conveyed to Singapore’s Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen, Chinese army spokesman Tan Kefei said in a statement.
The minister specifically mentioned the Progressive Democratic Party, currently in power in Taiwan and pro-independence, at a time when the island is preparing to hold presidential elections in January.
China and Taiwan have lived as two autonomous territories since 1949, when the former Chinese nationalist government took refuge on the island after the defeat in the civil war against the communists. Beijing considers Taiwan part of its territory and threatens to reunify it through force if the island formally declares independence.
“We will continue to strive for peaceful reunification with the greatest sincerity and greatest efforts,” said the Chinese minister. “But we will never tolerate any attempt by the Democratic Progressive Party authorities to seek foreign support to try to achieve Taiwan’s independence, nor will we tolerate any attempt by external forces to use Taiwan to contain China,” he noted.
“We will absolutely not promise to renounce the use of force,” he stressed.
The statements reflect Chinese President Xi Jinping’s speech at the 20th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, which took place last October.
Xi then said that China will continue to pursue peaceful reunification with the “greatest sincerity and greatest efforts”, but that it “will never promise in any way to renounce the use of force” and “reserve the option of taking all the necessary measures”.
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen is about to complete her second term and cannot run again.
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