Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday vowed that Taiwan will be reunited with the mainland, saying Beijing will “resolutely prevent anyone from splitting” the two sides in any way. 

The comments came during a symposium in Beijing commemorating the 130th anniversary of the birth of Mao Zedong, the founding father of Communist China. In 1949, Mao led his country to defeat the Republic of China government, which then fled the mainland for Taiwan. 

To this day, Beijing regards the democratically-governed island nation as part of its own territory, despite the strong objections of the government in Taipei. Over the past year and a half, China has staged multiple rounds of major war games around Taiwan and regularly sends warships and fighter jets into the Taiwan Strait.

Per reporting from the state-run Xinhua news agency, Xi said “the complete reunification of the motherland is an irresistible trend.”


He added that China must deepen integration between the two sides, promote the peaceful development of relations across the Taiwan Strait, and “resolutely prevent anyone from splitting Taiwan from China in any way.” 

The report from Xinhua made no mention of using force against Taiwan, though China has never renounced that possibility. It also did not mention Taiwan’s presidential and parliamentary elections on Jan. 13.

The Chinese government has repeatedly denounced the frontrunner to be Taiwan’s next president, Lai Ching-te from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), as a dangerous separatist and has rebuffed his calls for talks.

Both the DPP and Taiwan’s main opposition party, the Kuomintang (KMT), which traditionally favors close ties with China but denies being pro-Beijing, say only the island’s people can decide their future.

Reuters contributed to this report.