Chinese President Xi Jinping is planning to describe at the upcoming once-in-five-years congress of the ruling Communist Party the reunification of self-ruled democratic Taiwan with the mainland as a long-term goal, according to party and government sources.
A plan has been studied for Xi to state at the congress next month that the reunification would be indispensable to realizing Beijing's goal of attaining "the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation," which the leader aims to bring about by the mid-21th century, according to the sources.
Xi is widely expected to secure an unprecedented third five-year term as general secretary of the party at the congress convened on Oct. 16 and a plan has been examined for a reference to Taiwan reunification to be included in an activity report that will be released by the Chinese leader, the sources said.
The activity report will outline basic policies as well as development goals of the Communist Party and the nation. By stressing the reunification goal, Xi aims to acquire a justification for prolonging his stay in power and keep his "cohesive force," one of the party sources said.
In a report to the previous party congress in 2017, Xi termed Taiwan reunification as one of historical tasks of the party, but stopped short of presenting detailed schedules.
Taiwan and mainland China have been governed separately since they split amid a civil war in 1949. Beijing has regarded the island as a renegade province awaiting reunification, by force if necessary.
Over the years, Taiwan has moved away from authoritarian rule and achieved democratization. Cross-strait relations have deteriorated since Tsai Ing-wen of the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party became the island's president in 2016.
The activity report is also expected to refer to achievements under Xi's 10-year helm since becoming party chief in 2012 as "great transformations," the sources said.
Xi began drafting the activity report earlier this year and finished hearing opinions of officials from regional party entities, government bodies and the military by summer, they said.
In July, Xi told a meeting of senior party officials that the upcoming congress will draw up a plan on tasks and important policies for the next five years and beyond toward the development of both the party and the Chinese nation.
The draft activity report will go through final adjustments at the seventh plenary session of the 19th Communist Party Central Committee to be convened on Oct. 9 in Beijing.
In 2018, China removed from its Constitution a two-term limit for the president and vice president, paving the way for Xi to hold onto power for life.