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Taiwan people’s support sought

Residents should adhere to one-China policy, defy 'independence', official says

Photo taken on July 21, 2019 from Xiangshan Mountain shows the Taipei 101 skyscraper in Taipei,Taiwan. (PHOTO /XINHUA)

A senior official has called for Taiwan compatriots to draw a clear line with separatist forces, safeguard peace across the Taiwan Straits and contribute to national reunification.

Liu Jieyi, head of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, made the remarks in a New Year's message published in this year's first issue of Relations Across Taiwan Straits magazine on Sunday.

"We are better equipped, more confident and capable of accomplishing the great cause of national reunification and enabling people on both sides of the Straits to live a better life," he said.

We are better equipped, more confident and capable of accomplishing the great cause of national reunification and enabling people on both sides of the Straits to live a better life.

Liu Jieyi, head of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council

The future of Taiwan and the well-being of its compatriots depend on the island's reunification with the motherland, Liu said.

After reunification, Taiwan will enjoy lasting peace, a more developed economy, greater prosperity, a more harmonious society and improved livelihood, as well as greater security and dignity in the world, he said.

"All Taiwan compatriots who support reunification will be their own masters," he said.

Liu said "Taiwan independence "is the biggest obstacle to reunification efforts and the well-being of Taiwan residents.

"Any attempt to seek 'independence' or interference by foreign forces will never succeed," he said.

Despite the impact of COVID-19 and obstructive tactics by the Democratic Progressive Party authorities in the past year, cross-Straits exchanges in various fields have continued to flourish, he noted.

The mainland cares about the health of Taiwan compatriots, he said. More than 177,000 of them have received COVID-19 vaccines on the mainland, and around 13.3 million doses of vaccines provided by Shanghai-based Fosun Pharma have been delivered to Taiwan, official data showed.

He called on Taiwan compatriots to seize the opportunities of the times, take an active part in cross-Straits exchanges and cooperation, adhere to the one-China principle and oppose "Taiwan independence".

Tang Yonghong, deputy director of the Taiwan Research Center of Xiamen University in Fujian province, said the DPP has taken advantage of the United States' strategy of "using Taiwan to contain the mainland", working with foreign forces to seek "independence" and curb the development of the mainland.

As island authorities have more aggressively undermined the core interests of the country, the mainland has taken countermeasures, including intensifying military exercises across the Straits and punishing separatists and their financial backers, he said.

Tensions rose across the Straits last year. The People's Liberation Army made about 950 flights near Taiwan in 2021, significantly higher than the 380 flights made in 2020, data unveiled by the island showed.

The actual number of planes dispatched was higher than the number stated by the DPP, Senior Colonel Tan Kefei, a spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense, said recently.

Last year, the Chinese military conducted numerous routine patrols around Taiwan with bombers, reconnaissance planes and fighter jets. The PLA also organized multiple military forces to conduct joint combat readiness patrols near the island, he said.

In November, the mainland unveiled a blacklist of secessionists, including three island officials, who support "Taiwan independence".

Measures to punish them were also revealed, including restrictions on enterprises related to them and their financial backers doing business on the mainland.

In December, China and Nicaragua resumed diplomatic relations after the Central American nation ended "diplomatic ties" with Taiwan. The move leaves just 14 countries that recognize Taiwan.

Tang, the expert, said the mainland's determination, will, capability, strategies and actions have not only dealt a severe blow to the arrogance of the secessionists, but also confirmed that "independence" is a dead end and reunification is the only way out for Taiwan.

Although it's expected that the US and Taiwan will make use of each other for their own purposes, which will further increase tensions, the mainland has maintained its ability to firmly steer cross-Straits relations, he said.

zhangyi1@chinadaily.com.cn