China lists containing ‘Taiwan independence’, combating ‘separatists’ in Tibet and Xinjiang among its top defence priorities

Xi Jinping speaks aboard a warship in the South China Sea. China says it is ‘ready to go to war’ in its efforts to reunify Taiwan and defeat ‘separatists’ (Photo courtesy: AP )

(, Jul24’19) – China has listed containing “Taiwan independence” and combating “separatist forces” in Tibet and Xinjiang among its top priorities in a national defence white paper it released on Jul 24. It has refused to renounce the use of force in efforts to reunify Taiwan with the mainland and has vowed to take all necessary military measures to defeat “separatists”.

China has been making the same point in a white paper it has been publishing every few years, outlining its national defence policy. The latest report again highlighted China’s claimed “defensive” approach while also pledging to “surely counterattack if attacked”.

Alleging that the threat of Taiwan separatism was growing, China’s Defence Ministry spokesman Wu Qian has said, “If anyone dares to separate Taiwan from China, the Chinese army will certainly fight, resolutely defending the country’s sovereign unity and territorial integrity.”

Taiwan, a democratically-governed island, split from the Communist Party-ruled mainland China amid civil war in 1949. The nationalist Kuomintang which ruled China from 1911 to 1949 fled to and established itself in Taiwan while claiming to be still the government of a Republic of China which included the mainland. But communist ruled mainland China has also continued to claim Taiwan as a part of its territory and seeks “complete reunification”.

The People’s Liberation Army of the Communist Party of China entered East Turkestan (Xinjiang) in 1949 and Tibet the next year and made them – along with Inner Mongolia – part of a new People’s Republic of China, adding their populations to the list of its ethnic minorities.


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