China 20th Communist Party Congress begins in Beijing
Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during the 20th CCP Congress.
China's Communist Party (CCP) has today held its most important event this year, as around 2,300 delegates from China gathered at the Beijing Great Hall of the People for the congress, whereat they will amend the constitution, and appoint the next party leader.
As the congress takes place every five years, this year's event marks the 20th since the party's founding in 1921. Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to be elected for a third term as the party's leader - an unprecedented feat, as it would break the norm established by Xi's two predecessors -, thus fixing China's current policy trend for another half-decade.
Xi began the Congress on Sunday with a speech detailing China's past policies and achievements.
Key takeaways from Xi's address
"In the face of serious provocations by separatist forces calling for Taiwan’s independence, and interference from outside forces, we have resolutely waged a major struggle against separatism and interference, demonstrating our strong determination and wide ability to protect national sovereignty and territorial integrity and oppose Taiwan independence," Chinese President Xi Jinping said at the opening of the Congress.
"The Taiwan issue...may be resolved by the Chinese people alone," he said.
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The Chinese President said his country is seeking peaceful reunification with Taiwan; however, the use of force cannot be excluded, especially since some measures may be necessary given the "interference of external forces and the extremely small number of pro-Taiwan independence separatists and their secessionist activities."
Another of China's key policies is to continue military reforms in order to protect state sovereignty, security, and development interests.
As for the fight against corruption, Xi said his crackdown on it put an end to "serious latent dangers" within the CCP and the military.
"The fight against corruption has an overwhelming victory and has been comprehensively consolidated, eliminating serious latent dangers within the party, the state and the military," he said.
Taiwan is increasingly being used by the West in order to provoke Beijing. Despite China and the US having agreed decades ago on the "one-China policy", whereby the People's Republic of China was recognized as the official representative of the Chinese people instead of Taiwan, the US has been increasing its overt ties with the island, and increasing weapons sales as well. Furthermore, Western ships have been constantly sailing the Taiwan Strait in a move to challenge Chinese sovereignty over the island while threatening to support Taiwan militarily against China.