Taiwan National Security Bureau Director: China Not Planning Reunification Law
© AP Photo / Ng Han GuanSupporters of Taiwan's 2020 presidential election candidate for the KMT, or Nationalist Party, Han Kuo-yu pass along a giant Taiwanese flag for the start of a campaign rally in southern Taiwan's Kaohsiung city on Friday, Jan 10, 2020
© AP Photo / Ng Han Guan
Beijing previously told President Joe Biden that it is “sincere” in seeking a peaceful reunification with Taiwan and is in no rush to take the island. The comments came after the Gen. Mark Milley told Congress China wants the capability to take Taiwan militarily by 2027, though he stopped short of saying China plans to invade by that date.
National Security Bureau (NSB) Director General Chen Ming-tong told Taiwanese lawmakers that he does not believe mainland China is considering a reunification law. Chen believes the move would put too much pressure on Beijing to set a timetable for unification.
The comments come amid concerns stemming from what is alleged to be a leaked Russian intelligence document stating that Beijing is considering passing a reunification law in the fall. Chen said the document could be considered “cognitive warfare targeting Taiwan'' but did not directly blame China or Russia.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is set to hold its 20th annual Congress this fall, and Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to secure a third five-year term. Chen suggested that a third term for Xi would make it unlikely that China would take action against Taiwan, as the CCP’s goal will be to maintain stability.
A reunification law would be a follow up to the 2005 Anti-Secession law, which stipulates a legal basis by Beijing to take military action against Taipei if it officially announced it had seceded from mainland China.
There have been no official moves indicating that such legislation is in the works, however. When asked, a spokesperson for China’s Taiwan Affairs office did not rule it out, stating it would “carefully listen to, and study opinions and suggestions.”
Chen claims that during Deng Xiaoping's reign in China, the mainland nation considered similar legislation but decided against it because of a timetable conundrum.
Taiwan is stated by Beijing to be a part of mainland China, however, it has been controlled by a separate government since 1945, after Mao Zedong’s Chinese Communist Party took over the mainland from the Kuomintang government, who fled to Taiwan.
The CCP still considers Taiwan its territory and has consistently stated that it is eager to bring the island under its control. In 2013, Xi told a Taiwanese envoy that reunification could not wait forever.
Reunification is extremely unpopular in Taiwan. A 2021 National Chenchi University poll found that only 1.4% of Taiwanese people support “unification as soon as possible” and only 6% support “maintain the status quo, move towards unification.” By contrast, the three most popular responses were “maintain the status quo, decide at later date” (28.4%), “maintain the status quo indefinitely” (27.3%) and “maintain the status quo, move towards independence” (25.1%).
Angering Beijing also seems unpopular, with only 6% of respondents selecting “independence as soon as possible.” Declaring independence would be tantamount to secession from Beijing, potentially enabling the CCP to use the 2005 Anti-Secession law to justify military action.
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