Xi Bows to Mao, Vows To Reunify Taiwan

By Tsering Choephel

Chinese President Xi Jinping and the founder of the PRC Mao Zedong. Image: Time.

DHARAMSALA, 28 Dec: The helmsman of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Xi Jinping, reiterated the inevitable reunification of China with Taiwan in his speech at the 130th birth anniversary of Mao Zedong held at the Great Hall of the People in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, on 26 December, according to a South China Morning Post report. 

“The complete reunification of our motherland is an overall trend, a righteous cause, and the common aspiration of the people. Our motherland must be reunified, and it will surely be reunified,” Xi said in his speech emphasising firm opposition to “anyone using any means to separate Taiwan from China.”

Calling for efforts to make the Communist Party even stronger, Xi underscored the Party’s adherence to its “original mission” and urged vitality and vigour to ensure “that our party never degenerates, never changes its color, and never loses its flavor.”

Despite his family and his own harrowing experience of hardship and suffering during Mao’s disastrous ‘cultural revolution’ in China, Xi hailed Mao’s political thoughts as a “spiritual treasure” and said his teaching would “guide our actions in the long term.”

With Xi’s consolidation of power, becoming what experts call him the “chairman of everything,” and his entrenchment of the Party’s control and reinvigorating of ‘communist education’ across all sectors, Mao’s popularity has found new significance. 

Many China analysts believe that Xi’s deliberate construction of his own cult and aligning it with the party’s ideology mirrors Mao’s era, as he seeks to follow Mao’s dictates of the party and propaganda.

At the forefront of Xi’s agenda under the banner of ‘socialism with Chinese characteristics’ and the ‘Great revival of the Chinese nation’ lies the goal of Taiwan reunification.

Xi’s reiteration of Taiwan reunification occurs against the backdrop of the 2024 Taiwanese general election.

Earlier during Xi’s visit to the US and his meeting with US President Joe Biden, Taiwan was one of the key disputes in discussion. While the US remains staunch in keeping Taiwan’s status quo, Beijing steels its ambition to take over Taiwan. 

NBC News reported over a month after the meeting between Xi and Biden in San Francisco that Xi Jinping had bluntly told Biden that Beijing would reunify Taiwan with mainland China, with only the timing of the overtaking remaining undecided.

Taiwan’s presidential and parliamentary election, set to begin on 13 January 2024 will be of significant consequential, not just to China and the US but to the world over according to experts.

Beijing claims self-ruled and democratic Taiwan as its own and views it as a wayward province to be reunified with China by force if necessary.

Taiwan has been self-governed since 1949 when Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang troops fled to the island after losing China’s civil war to Mao’s Communist Party.

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