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A People’s Republic of China officially responsible for relations with Taiwan has claimed a “reunification” of the two countries is approaching.
The eyebrow-raising comments were published Thursday in China’s government-run newspaper, People’s Daily.
Taiwan Affairs Office lead Liu Jieyi expressed expectations for China to reclaim Taiwan in the near future due to “growing comprehensive strength” on the part of the Chinese.
“Our growing comprehensive strength and significant institutional advantages continue to be transformed into efficiency in work related to Taiwan issues and push forward the process of national reunification,” Liu said, according to a translation by South China Morning Post.
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Liu went on to threaten a violent crackdown on “Taiwan independence forces” and a stronger pushback against foreign interventions into the conflict.
Taiwan, also known as the Republic of China, is an island nation off the coast of the mainland. Taiwan has declared itself independent of the People’s Republic of China, and has claimed continuation of governance from pre-revolutionary China.
The People’s Republic of China has long claimed sovereignty over Taiwan and the Taiwan Strait, the relatively narrow strip of ocean between the island of Taiwan and the Chinese mainland. The Chinese military has frequently sent planes into the area, testing Taiwan’s air defense zone.
The United States does not have official relations with Taiwan, but has been stepping up engagement with the island as China seeks to isolate it from global institutions.
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Taiwan is not the only target of Chinese aggression that has concerned international observers.
FBI Director Christopher Wray on Wednesday said China poses the “biggest long-term threat” to the economic and national security of the United States and Western allies, and warned that Beijing is “trying to shape the world” by interfering in politics, business and more.
The tension between Beijing and Hong Kong is at a breaking point as the mainland continues to sanction, censor and even arrest political dissidents calling for an independent country. Some have gone as far as begging the United Kingdom to intervene and reabsorb the island.
Fox News’ Brooke Singman and Reuters contributed to this report.