China said on Monday that it would never tolerate any separatist schemes for self-ruled Taiwan and would safeguard China’s territorial integrity with the aim of “reunification” with an island it considers its sacred territory.
Premier Li Keqiang issued the warning in a speech at the opening of the annual session of China’s parliament, his stern words coming amid mounting Chinese anger over a US bill that seeks to raise official contacts between Washington and Taipei.
On Friday, China said Taiwan would only get burnt if it sought to rely on foreigners, adding to the warnings from state media about the risk of war.
The US legislation, which only needs President Donald Trump’s signature to become law, says it should be US policy to allow officials at all levels to travel to Taiwan to meet their counterparts, permit high-level Taiwan officials to enter the United States “under respectful conditions” and meet US officials.
In his address to the largely rubber-stamp assembly, Li said China would promote the peaceful growth of relations across the Taiwan Strait and “advance China’s peaceful reunification”.
“We will remain firm in safeguarding China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and will never tolerate any separatist schemes or activities for Taiwan independence,” Li said, to applause from the 3,000-odd legislators at the Great Hall of the People.
“As fellow Chinese living on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, we share a bond of kinship. As long as we go with the tide of history and work together for our nation’s greater good, we will together create the future – a beautiful future of national rejuvenation.”