By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, Oct. 19: In the opening remarks at the19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, President Xi Jinping left less than little to indicate that he will tolerate so-called “separatists” or usher in any democratic changes for the country.
“We will never allow anyone, any organization, or any political party, at any time or in any form, to separate any part of Chinese territory from China,” Xi said in his three and a half hour speech at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing Yesterday.
Among the many territories and countries under China that seek changes in the status-quo such as Tibet, Xinjiang, Taiwan and Hong Kong, Xi was especially vocal when it came to Taiwan and Hong Kong where there were uprisings and call for independence during his first term.
In the face of growing opposition from Tsai Ingwen led Taiwan pushing for democracy and seeking to move away from China, Xi said he is willing to show might to silence any voice for a free Taiwan. “We will resolutely safeguard the national sovereignty and territorial integrity and will absolutely not tolerate the tragedy of the country’s split. Any activity aiming to split the motherland will be firmly opposed by all the Chinese people. We have a firm will, sufficient faith, and adequate capacity to defeat any intention of “Taiwan independence” in any form,” Xi Jinping said on Taiwan.
While experts likened his take on Hong Kong as “dangling a carrot” and comparatively a softer take than Taiwan, Xi discussed the “one country, two systems” principle saying, “We must maintain the central authority in Hong Kong and guarantee Hong Kong’s autonomy at the same time. We must ensure that the ‘one country, two systems’ policy will not change or deform.” However he reiterated that any calls for independence is out of the question.
The first term of the incumbent President was spent consolidating power with many dubbing him “emperor Xi” and silencing rivals through his campaigns such as anti-graft drive. His remaining term, Xi said will usher China into a global leadership role in political, military, economic and environmental issues without any mention of his severest critique in terms of human rights and the quality of his citizen’s freedom.