Taiwan expressed its firm opposition to China's reiterated commitment to reunification with the self-ruled island after Chinese leader Xi Jinping said his country will take all measures necessary, including the use of force, to fulfill the goal at the Chinese Communist Party's twice-a-decade congress on Sunday.
Responding to Xi's speech at the opening session of the weeklong congress, Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang stressed in a statement President Tsai Ing-wen's uncompromising stance of protecting sovereignty, democracy and freedom in Taiwan, explaining the view is the broad consensus among the people and political parties in the island.
On the other hand, provided there is "rationality, equality and mutual respect," Taiwan is willing to work with Beijing to find a mutually agreeable arrangement for upholding peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, Chang said.
But the arrangement is clearly not what has been applied to Hong Kong under the "one country, two systems" policy, the spokesman said.
The Mainland Affairs Council said in a statement that the people of Taiwan will never accept that policy and Beijing's one-China principle under which the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party is recognized as the "sole legal government of China."
The council also called on the communist party to carry out reforms of its political system and build a free and democratic civil society, urging it to "follow the international order and handle cross-strait relations with a new way of thinking."
Taiwan and mainland China have been governed separately since they split due to a civil war in 1949. China regards the island as a renegade province awaiting reunification, by force if necessary.