Xi Jinping’s New Year Message: Taiwan Will Reunite with China

January 1, 2024

In his annual New Year’s Eve address, Chinese President Xi Jinping restated his belief that Taiwan will “surely be reunified” with China. His message comes just ahead of Taiwan’s critical January 13 elections, which will determine the island’s cross-strait policy for the next four years.

Xi Jinping
Xi Jinping. Google

China has been increasing military pressure on Taiwan as it considers the self-governed island of 23 million to be a breakaway province that will eventually be under Beijing’s control. Taiwan, on the other hand, sees itself as distinctive from the Chinese mainland, with its constitution and democratically elected leaders.

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen
Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen. Google

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Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen, in her New Year’s address, reiterated that Taiwan’s relations with China must be determined by the “will of the Taiwanese people”. She also expressed concern about Beijing’s attempts to interfere in the election.

The issue of Taiwan has strained relations between the US and China, with China condemning any perceived support from Washington for Taipei. The US has no official ties with Taiwan but has passed a law mandating that it provide the island with the means to defend itself.

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen has reiterated that Taiwan’s relations with China should be decided by the will of the people and that peace must be based on “dignity”. This comes after Chinese President Xi Jinping said in his New Year’s Eve address that “reunification” with Taiwan is inevitable. Tsai has made it clear that the most important principle on what course to follow in relations with China is democracy. She has also warned that China is trying to interfere in Taiwan’s upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections, and has urged people to be on alert for this.

Additionally, Tsai has made efforts to bolster and modernize Taiwan’s defenses, including pushing for an indigenous submarine program.

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