Reunification key to rejuvenation

The 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, which concluded on Oct 22, was held at a time when China has embarked on the journey to realize the second centenary goal of national rejuvenation and building a modern socialist country in all respects.

Since the reunification of Taiwan with the motherland is vital to realizing national rejuvenation, and the external and internal situations — including the situation across the Taiwan Straits — have changed drastically, how and when to resolve the Taiwan question to realize national reunification has become a question of common concern for the Chinese people.

Due to the continuous efforts of the island's ruling Democratic Progressive Party to change the historical and political character of the island in order to seek "Taiwan independence", many Taiwan residents have developed a different understanding about national identity and reunification. That's why the pro-independence DPP has overrun Kuomintang in approval ratings.

On the other hand, the United States has changed its strategy and foreign policy in order to curb China's rise. While the US plays the "Taiwan card" to contain China's rise, the DPP depends on the US to "seek independence". In fact, the collusion between the US and the island has never been so deep since the establishment of Sino-US diplomatic ties in 1979.

The revisions are needed to meet the challenges at home and abroad and across the Straits, and aimed at fulfilling the main tasks in the new era

Such changes in Taiwan's social ecology and Washington's strategy toward Beijing are increasingly limiting the prospects of the peaceful reunification of Taiwan with the motherland, raising the costs of reunification and pro-reunification governance, and severely impacting national development and rejuvenation.

However, the mainland today is strong enough to crack down on the separatists on the island and reunify the Chinese nation. Therefore, how to resolve the Taiwan question and realize national reunification in the new era has become a major issue.

While a white paper titled "The Taiwan Question and China's Reunification in the New Era" released in August has expounded the position of the Party and the government on national reunification in the new era, the report to the 20th CPC National Congress further makes clear the Party's stance and policy.

Compared with the report to the 19th Party Congress, the latest one not only continues to underline the importance of stopping secessionist activities on the island and outside interference in the Taiwan question, but also puts more emphasis on resolving the Taiwan question and realizing complete national reunification. In particular, the report emphasizes that Beijing will never rule out the option of using force to realize the reunification of the Chinese nation.

What's more, the Party Constitution has been revised to incorporate the part on resolutely fighting against the "Taiwan independent" forces. The report says "we have resolutely fought against separatism and countered interference, demonstrating our resolve and ability to safeguard China's sovereignty and territorial integrity and to oppose 'Taiwan independence.' We have strengthened our strategic initiative for China's complete reunification and consolidated commitment to the one-China principle within the international community."

The revisions are needed to meet the challenges at home and abroad and across the Straits, and aimed at fulfilling the main tasks in the new era. Resolving the Taiwan question to realize complete national reunification is a major historical task on the way to national rejuvenation. Thanks to the practical experiences gathered over a decade, the CPC has worked out an overall strategy to resolve the Taiwan question.

According to the report, the policy of "peaceful reunification" and "one country, two systems" is the best way to achieve national reunification, and in the best interests of compatriots on both sides of the Straits and the Chinese nation as a whole, and can be realized through integrated development and negotiation across the Straits on the basis of the 1992 Consensus that there is only one China.

In view of the growing resistance against national reunification in Taiwan, and the collusion between the DPP-led secessionists on the island and the US-led anti-China forces in some Western countries, which are increasingly endangering the prospects of peaceful reunification and national rejuvenation, the report asserts that the Party will firmly oppose "Taiwan independence" and promote national reunification.

As the report says, "Resolving the Taiwan question and realizing China's complete reunification is, for the Party, a historic mission and an unshakable commitment. It is also a shared aspiration of all the sons and daughters of the Chinese nation and a natural requirement for realizing the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. We will implement our Party's overall policy for resolving the Taiwan question in the new era, maintain the initiative and the ability to steer in cross-Strait relations, and unswervingly advance the cause of national reunification."

In the new era, the Party will ensure "Taiwan independence" does not become a stumbling block on the path of national reunification.

The author is a professor at the Taiwan Research Center, Xiamen University.

The views don't necessarily represent those of China Daily.