Xi vows to safeguard territorial integrity, warns separatists

By Li Ruohan Source:Global Times Published: 2018/3/20 20:48:39

Warning is timely as hostile forces are on rise: analysts

President Xi Jinping waves at deputies of the 13th National People's Congress during the closing meeting of the annual session in Beijing, Tuesday. Photo: Xinhua

Chinese President Xi Jinping vowed to safeguard China's territorial integrity and had a stern warning to those who would attempt to split the country, during his speech at the closing of this year's National People's Congress (NPC) on Tuesday.

Xi's remarks, which analysts say were evidently tough, are a strong signal to antagonistic forces both in and outside the country.

Any actions or tricks to split China are doomed to fail and are certain to meet with the people's condemnation and would be punished by history, Xi said at the closing meeting of the First Session of the 13th NPC.

He said the Chinese people have resolve, confidence, and ability to defeat secessionist attempts in any form. "The Chinese people share a common belief that it is never allowed and it is absolutely impossible to separate any inch of our great country's territory from China," Xi added.

The remarks received a warm response from national legislators with prolonged applause. A number of them told the Global Times that they feel assured and motivated especially facing increasing domestic and foreign threats.

"It could not be clearer that the remarks send a strong signal toward the 'pro-independence forces' from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet," Chui Sai-peng, a member of the Legislative Assembly of Macao Special Administrative Region, told the Global Times after the meeting.

"The president's tough remarks at such a significant occasion are a strong declaration of China's resolve in safeguarding territory integrity, especially when domestic and foreign threats are simmering," Xu Guangyu, a retired major general and senior adviser to the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

The remarks from Xi, who is also chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) of China, were a "mobilization order" to the military, said Xu.

"The military should make every possible preparation to fight against separatist moves and safeguard territorial integrity, which is an urgent and practical call under current circumstances," said Xu.

In his speech at the NPC's closing meeting, Xi stressed that China's development does not pose a threat to any other country.

"China will never seek hegemony or engage in expansion," he said. "Only those who are accustomed to threatening others see everyone as a threat."

"The Chinese people's sincere wish and practical action to contribute to the peace and development of humanity should not be misinterpreted, nor should they be distorted," Xi said.

Deputies attend the closing meeting for the First Session of the 13th National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Tuesday. Photo: IC

US meddling

The president's warning is timely and necessary especially when foreign hostile forces are attempting to make a move, NPC deputy Wang Wei, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times after the meeting.

The latest move China regards as provocative is the US Taiwan Travel Act, which encourages visits between the US and China's Taiwan at all levels.

After Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party took power in 2016, "Taiwan independence" forces have been increasingly active, as has meddling from the US, experts say, adding that latest move by the US has put cross-Straits relations on a dangerous stage.

Taiwan is using the provocative legislation to test room for further action, and subsequent interactions between the US and the island, such as contact reaching the diplomatic or defense levels, should be watched closely, said Xu.

"If the US dares to take one step across the red line, China will launch full countermeasures, including diplomatic, economic and security measures, to make the US pay a price that will make it hurt," Xu told the Global Times.

Though the mainland's policy of peaceful reunification toward Taiwan will not change, voices advocating military measures from the public and scholars are rising, and the mainland will take non-peaceful moves when a crisis occurs in the island or Western forces touch the bottom line, said Lü Cuncheng, a research fellow at the Institute of Taiwan Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Newspaper headline: Separatists doomed to fail: Xi

Posted in: POLITICS

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