China's president said on Wednesday that his country reserves the use of force in the process of reunification with Taiwan, although he said that it will be directed towards external and separatist forces from the island.
Xi Jinping, while speaking at a gathering to mark the 40th anniversary of the issuing of the "Message to Compatriots in Taiwan" - which seeks peaceful reunification under the principle of "one country, two systems" - said that, "we make no promise to renounce the use of force and reserve the option of taking all necessary means," state-run news agency Xinhua reported.
"Chinese don't fight Chinese," said Xi, adding that the use of force will be a way against the interference from external forces and the small number of "Taiwan independence separatists" and their activists.
Xi alluded on several occasions to achieving reunification by peaceful means which he said would be in the best interests of compatriots across the Strait and the Chinese nation, Xinhua reported.
During the gathering at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Xi said that, "we are willing to create broad space for peaceful reunification, but will leave no room for any form of separatist activities."
Xi said that China should be and will be unified and added that, "It is a historical conclusion drawn over the 70 years of the development of cross-Strait relations, and a must for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation in the new era," Xinhua reported.
In 2018, Chinese pressure on Taiwan increased as the latter attempted to participate in international organizations.
Taiwan lost three diplomatic allies in 2018 due to pressure from Beijing, including the Dominican Republic and El Salvador.