Beijing: Talking tough, President Xi Jinping Wednesday asked Taiwan to reject independence and embrace "peaceful reunification" with China on a 'one-country-two systems' basis, warning that he would not renounce the option of using military force if Taipei persists with the idea of freedom.
In a speech marking the 40th anniversary of issuing 'Message to Compatriots' in Taiwan, president Xi proposed 'one -country-two-systems' on the lines of Hong Kong for the peaceful reunification of Taiwan.
"Chinese don't fight Chinese," Xi, 65, said, asserting that the peaceful reunification is in the best interests of the compatriots across the Strait as well as to China.
"We make no promise to renounce the use of force and reserve the option of taking all necessary means," he said, delivering a strong message to Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, a firm advocate of Taiwan's independence.
Xi, regarded as the most powerful leader who heads the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC), the military and the presidency, said both Hong Kong and Macau were integrated into China under the 'one-country-two-systems' basis and have retained their autonomy.
"Peaceful reunification and one-country-two-systems is the best way to achieve national reunification. It embodies the wisdom of the Chinese people that all rivers run into the sea and is inclusive," he said in a speech telecast live all over the country.
"The concrete implementation of 'one-country-two-systems' in Taiwan will take into full account the reality of Taiwan," he said.
Xi's speech laced with a decisive message to Taiwan comes after President Tsai's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) suffered major losses in the last month's local government elections following which she resigned as the leader of the party.
In a veiled reference to the US' growing backing of Taiwan in recent months, Xi said his message was not targeted at compatriots in Taiwan, but at the interference of external forces and the very small number of "Taiwan independence" separatists and their activities.
Last September, China demanded the US to cancel a USD 330 million arms deal with Taiwan, warning "severe damage" to bilateral ties and peace and stability in Taiwan straits separating the Chinese mainland with Taiwan.
Amid the rising tensions with China over the ongoing trade war and sanctions imposed on Chinese military procurement unit for Russian Su-35 fighter jets and S-400 missiles, the US has approved the sale of spare parts and related support for Taiwan's US-made F-16 fighters and other military aircraft.
China claims Taiwan, which was estranged from the mainland, as part of its territory and makes it mandatory for all countries having diplomatic ties with Beijing to observe One-China policy.
The US and several other countries, including India, maintain economic and trade ties with Taiwan without formal diplomatic ties.
Taiwan independence goes against the trend of history and will lead to a dead end, Xi said.
"We are willing to create broad space for peaceful reunification, but will leave no room for any form of separatist activities," he asserted.
The political parties and all sectors on both sides of the Strait may recommend representatives to conduct extensive and in-depth democratic consultation on the basis of the common political foundation of upholding the 1992 Consensus and opposing "Taiwan independence", Xi said.
There are no problems that cannot be solved between family members, he said.
"We sincerely hope all the compatriots in Taiwan treasure peace as much as they treasure their own eyes, and pursue national reunification as much as they pursue happiness," Xi said.
He urged young people across the Strait to shoulder important tasks with courage, be united and friendly with each other and strive for a better future hand in hand.
Since pro-independence leader Tsai came to power defeating the pro-Beijing Kuomintang (KMT), China launched a massive diplomatic offensive, luring away a number of small countries that still had diplomatic ties with Taipei defying the One-China policy.
Last year, the number came down to 16 as a number of countries have already severed links with China, which Taiwan alleged was the result of 'Dollar Diplomacy'.