After weeks of military drills following US House speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, China is willing to work towards peaceful “reunification” with Taiwan, according to a government spokesperson. Taiwan rejects this claim, arguing that it is only the island’s population that can decide their future.
China has been conducting military drills off the coast of Taiwan since Ms Pelosi’s controversial visit last month, including firing missiles into waters.
However, ahead of next month’s Communist Party Congress, Beijing has struck a more conciliatory tone.
Ma Xiaoguang, a spokesperson for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, told a news conference that China was willing to make efforts to achieve peaceful “reunification”.
He said: “The motherland must be reunified and will inevitably be reunified.”
Ma added that China’s determination to safeguard its territory is unwavering.
Beijing has proposed a “one country, two systems” model for Taiwan.
It is a similar model to the formula under which the former British colony of Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997.
According to the spokesperson, Taiwan could have a “social system different from the mainland” ensuring their way of life was respected including religious freedoms.
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In 2005, the Chinese government passed a law that gave the country the legal basis for military action against Taiwan should it declare its independence or appear to be about to do so.
Beijing has also refused to talk to Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen since she first took office in 2016, arguing that she is a separatist.
However, she has offered to talk on the basis of equality and mutual respect.
Tsai’s predecessor Ma Ying-jeou did hold a successful meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Singapore in 2015.