Beijing: President Xi Jinping on Sunday condemned Taiwan’s move to declare itself independent from China, saying “the time has come for us to declare the end of this bitter conflict”.
The move came days after the Dalai Lama visited Beijing and pledged to visit the disputed island of Taiwan within a year.
“Taiwan’s unilateral declaration of independence is the height of arrogance and disrespect,” Xi told a joint session of the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the National Assembly, according to a statement by the state-run China Daily newspaper.
The Dalai Lama and Chinese President Xi Jingping were expected to speak at a press conference later Sunday, state-owned Global Times newspaper reported.
China has repeatedly threatened to cut off all trade with Taiwan and has threatened to destroy the island’s only airstrip in response to Taipei’s moves to recognize the island as a state.
Taiwan has refused to recognize China’s claims over the islands, saying it has never been given an inch of sovereignty.
Beijing has also been angered by Taiwan’s declaration of its independence from the mainland in a referendum held in 2008.
Taiwan says its declaration is illegal.