China has once again ruled out the notion of independence for Taiwan, saying it will not tolerate any form of activity which attempts to separate the self-ruled island from the Chinese mainland.
Delivering a speech at the opening session of the fifth meeting of the 12th National People’s Congress (NPC) in Beijing on Sunday, Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang reaffirmed that Beijing would thoroughly protect its national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
“We will never tolerate any activity, in any form or name, which attempts to separate Taiwan from the motherland,” Li said.
The Chinese prime minister said Beijing would continue to implement the “One China” principle, which refers to the policy or the diplomatic acknowledgement that there is only one state called China despite the existence of two governments — one in China and another in the island of Taiwan.
“People on both sides of the Taiwan Strait should keep in mind the greater interests of the nation” and work toward the “reunification of China,” Li added.
Hong Kong independence bid ‘leads nowhere’
Li also ruled out the idea of independence for Hong Kong, saying it “would lead nowhere.”
He said the government would ensure that the principle of “one country, two systems” was applied in Hong Kong and Macau “without being bent or distorted.”
Hong Kong was returned to China after about a century of British colonial rule in 1979. Its legislative, executive, and judicial bodies are already separate from and independent of China, and Beijing only maintains authority in defense, foreign affairs, and constitutional disputes.
Macau is a special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China.