In New White Paper, China Omits One Big Line

Nation retracts vow to not send troops to Taiwan in case of 'reunification'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 11, 2022 12:28 PM CDT
China Offers New Approach for Controlling Taiwan
Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with military officers and troops stationed in northwestern China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region on July 15.   (Li Gang/Xinhua via AP)

(Newser) – China won't rule out the use of force in Taiwan, according to its first white paper on the topic in 22 years and the first under President Xi Jinping. In it, the country withdraws a promise not to send troops or administrators to the island if it seizes control—the latest development in a relationship that has only grown more tense since US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's Taiwan visit. In white papers issued in 1993 and 2000, China said it "will not send troops or administrative personnel to be based in Taiwan" following "reunification," indicating Taiwan would be put under a "one country, two systems" formula, as with Hong Kong, per Reuters.

But that line was missing from the latest white paper, indicating Xi is willing "to grant less autonomy than previously offered," according to the outlet. A line in the 2000 white paper stating "anything can be negotiated" as long as Taiwan accepts the one-China policy and doesn't seek independence, is also missing from the latest paper. It blames Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen's Democratic Progressive Party for having "endangered peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, and undermined the prospects and squeezed the space for peaceful reunification," per Newsweek. "These are obstacles that must be cleared to advance the process of peaceful reunification," it adds.

The "one country, two systems" proposal has minimal support in Taiwan. No mainstream political party backs it. "Only Taiwan's 23 million people have the right to decide on the future of Taiwan, and they will never accept an outcome set by an autocratic regime," Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council said in condemning the proposal it slammed as "full of lies of wishful thinking," per Reuters. A spokesperson for Taiwan's Foreign Ministry said China was using Pelosi's visit, which the country called an "egregious provocation," as an "excuse to create a new normality to intimidate Taiwan's people," reports Reuters. (This comes amid unprecedented Chinese military exercises around Taiwan.)

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