After the Chinese President Xi Jinping's vowed to "reunify" with Taipei, Taiwan on Saturday said that the island is an independent country, and not part of the People's Republic of China, local media reported.
Taiwan's Presidential Office Spokesperson Xavier Chang said that Taiwan is a sovereign and independent country, and not part of the People's Republic of China. He added the future of the country rests in the hands of Taiwanese, Taiwan News reported.
This comes after Chinese President Xi Jinping earlier today vowed to pursue "reunification" with Taiwan by peaceful means and asserted that the country firmly opposes any foreign interference in the matter.
"The Taiwan issue is exclusively an internal affair of China, and any external interference is inadmissible," Xi Jinping said during his address to mark the 110th anniversary of the Xinhai Revolution.
Reacting to Xi's remarks, Chang said "what followed the 1911 Xinhai Revolution was the establishment of a democratic republic, referring to the Republic of China, and not an authoritarian dictatorship. The current situation in Hong Kong proves that China has abandoned its promise to preserve the autonomous territory's freedom and democracy for 50 years," Taiwan News reported.
The spokesperson said that Beijing's handling of Hong Kong also proves that "one country, two systems" is not feasible.
“Mainstream public opinion in Taiwan is very clear," Taiwan News quoted Chang as saying. He further added that the Taiwanese reject "one country, two systems" and will defend their democratic and free way of life.
Beijing claims full sovereignty over Taiwan, a democracy of almost 24 million people located off the southeastern coast of mainland China, despite the fact that the two sides have been governed separately for more than seven decades.
Taipei, on the other hand, has countered the Chinese aggression by increasing strategic ties with democracies including the US, which has been repeatedly opposed by Beijing. China has threatened that "Taiwan's independence" means war.
On June 1, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged to complete reunification with self-ruled Taiwan and vowed to smash any attempts at formal independence for the island. (ANI)