Chinese Premier Li Keqiang delivers a speech at the opening of the annual session of the Chinese Parliament, March 5, 2023.
Beijing/Taipei – China should respect the determination of the Taiwanese people regarding its sovereignty, democracy and freedom, the Taiwanese government said today. It responded to the statement of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, who declared that the Chinese government should support the peaceful development of relations with Taiwan, advance the process of “peaceful reunification of China” and at the same time take decisive steps against Taiwanese independence. This was reported by the Reuters agency.
The Chinese Premier delivered his remarks at the opening of the annual session of the Chinese Parliament. He emphasized the continued existence of the one-China principle, which states that Taiwan is part of China, but did not directly threaten military action, Reuters noted. According to him, the government should put into practice the party's policy of “resolving the Taiwan question” and take “decisive steps against Taiwan's independence and promote reunification.” Li Keqiang said this in front of about 3,000 delegates in Beijing's Palace of the People.
China considers Taiwan part of its territory and threatens it with military intervention if it declares independence. Nevertheless, Taiwan has been de facto independent since 1949, has its own government and a democratic establishment. In recent years, Taipei has complained of increased harassment by the Chinese armed forces, including in the form of overflights of Chinese fighter jets or drones near Taiwanese territory.
Taiwanese authorities responded to the president's words by saying that China would should deal with matters concerning Taiwan pragmatically and in a rational, equal and mutually respectful manner.