Beijing (August 1, 2017): Chinese President Xi Jinping issued a tough line on national sovereignty Tuesday amid multiple territorial disputes with his country’s neighbours, saying China will never permit the loss of “any piece” of its land to outsiders.
Chinese President Xi Jinping marked the 90th anniversary of the founding of the military arm of the ruling Communist Party with a declaration that his country will never surrender any of its territory to outside forces.
“We will never allow any people, organization, or political party to split any part of Chinese territory out of the country at any time, in any form,” Xi vowed in a speech Tuesday to an audience of Communist Party officials and high-ranking officers of the People’s Liberation Army at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
“No one should expect us to swallow the bitter fruit that is harmful to our sovereignty, security or development interests,” Xi added.
Xi made no reference to any specific conflicts or disputes during his address, which focused largely on the PLA’s growth from a scrappy guerrilla force fighting Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists and Japanese invaders into one of the world’s most powerful, if largely untested, militaries.
However, China is currently engaged in a weeks-long border standoff with Indian forces near the countries’ disputed border high in the Himalayas, with Chinese spokesmen demanding that Indian troops withdraw to avoid a clash potentially worse than the brief but bloody war the two fought in the region in 1962.
China has also long been embroiled in a contest with Japan over East China Sea islands, as well as with five other governments over competing claims to territory in the strategically vital South China Sea. Beijing also threatens to use force to conquer Taiwan if peaceful enticements prove insufficient. China considers the self-governing democratic island Chinese territory.