China's high-ranking Taiwan relationship official refutes rumors of reunification timetable

Sun Yafu, vice president of the Association of Relations Across the Taiwan Strait, dismisses speculations of a reunification timetable

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Sun Yafu refutes rumors of a reunification timetable set by the Chinese government.

Sun Yafu speaks in Hong Kong about future Taiwan-China relations

Sun Yafu refutes rumors of a reunification timetable set by the Chinese government. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Sun Yafu (孫亞夫), vice president of the Association of Relations Across the Taiwan Strait, dismissed speculations of a reunification timetable, in Hong Kong on Friday.

When asked about whether the Chinese government has set forth a specific timetable for achieving reunification with Taiwan by the year 2049, Sun refuted by stating that people who believe so have simply misinterpreted the official reports of the 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party.

Questions on whether the Chinese government has set forth a specific timetable for achieving reunification with Taiwan by the year 2049 have been raised following “Two Centenaries," a set of goals put forth by Chinese President Xi Jinping after the previous National Assembly of the Communist Party in 2012.

According to the “Two Centenaries,” the Chinese Communist Party will strive to realize the great dream of rejuvenating the Chinese nation by the end of the second 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Chinese Communist Party, which will be in the year 2049. Observers from around the globe have interpreted this as a hint by the Communist Party of its intentions to achieve reunification with Taiwan by 2049.

However, when asked about such speculations, Sun gave a rhetorical response, “According to whom?” while adding, “These people must not have read the official report [of the 19th National Congress] carefully”.

Chiu Chiucheng, a spokesperson of Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), has said in a statement with regards to the 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party that the Chinese government doesn't seem to have altered nor softened their long-standing stances towards Taiwan. The Taiwanese government will therefore carefully monitor what the Chinese government will do next.

According to Chiu, the MAC insists that peace across the Taiwan Strait is a shared responsibility of the governments of both Taiwan and China. Beijing should respect the unquestionable existence of Taiwan, also the firm desire and demand of a fully democratic society by the Taiwanese people.

He also called for the Chinese government to give up its tactical mindset of making hostile threats. A new form of interaction between the two countries can only be achieved when differences are broken down through peaceful dialogue and mutual respect.