The Chinese people have a “sacred mission” to ensure Taiwan is always considered a part of China, said a high-ranking Chinese leader Friday during an event in Beijing marking the anniversary of communist Chinese forces defeating the nationalists in 1949.
“Maintaining the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and maintaining no changes to the position that Taiwan is part of China is a sacred mission for all the sons and daughters of China,” said Yu Zhengsheng, the party’s fourth-ranked leader.
Taiwan was a Japanese colony between 1895 and 1945, before being under the control of Imperial China. After Japan lost World War II, Taiwan was taken over by the then-Nationalist Chinese government. However, the nationalists had to flee to Taiwan in 1949 after losing a civil war to the communists, who still insist the island is an integral part of China.
Speaking at the event, which is ahead of the 70th anniversary of Japan loosing World War II, Yu said Taiwan’s “recovery” had “washed away the national shame” of repeated invasion by China.
In democratic Taiwan, however, there is little support for reunification.
This Sunday is Retrocession Day in Taiwan and it will be marked at an event overseen by Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou.
Taiwan will elect a new president in January.
The frontrunner is Tsai Ing-wen of the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which has traditionally favored Taiwan’s independence..