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China Reverses Promise to Not Use Force Against Taiwan

(Photo by DALE DE LA REY/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by DALE DE LA REY/AFP via Getty Images)

The Chinese government issued an official document Wednesday that removes a previous pledge not to use force should China move forward with Taiwan “reunification.”

China promised in two previous white papers, published in 1993 and 2000, that it “will not send troops or administrative personnel to be based in Taiwan” after reuniting the self-governing island with mainland China, a goal China openly pursues, Reuters reported. The updated document, “The Taiwan Question and China’s Reunification in the New Era” under President Xi Jinping, omits that clause, instead advocating for a peaceful reunification but creating the possibility for use of military force as a last resort.

“National reunification by peaceful means is the first choice of the CPC and the Chinese government in resolving the Taiwan question, as it best serves the interests of the Chinese nation as a whole, including our compatriots in Taiwan, and it works best for the long-term stability and development of China,” the document stated.

“But we will not renounce the use of force, and we reserve the option of taking all necessary measures. This is to guard against external interference and all separatist activities,” the document continued.

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