His comments come after the ruling Communist Party re-elected Xi Jinping for a new term as the country’s leader. In his speech on Sunday, Xi made it clear that his plans for Taiwan remain central to China’s “rejuvenation”.
In a conversation with former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at Stanford University on Monday, Blinken said peace and stability between China and Taiwan had been successfully maintained for decades, but Beijing had changed its approach. “Instead of sticking to the status quo, Beijing has made a fundamental decision that the status quo is no longer acceptable and is pursuing reunification with Taiwan in a much shorter time frame,” Blinken said.
Analysts, however, point out that the annexation of Taiwan could happen by 2049, the centenary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
In his opening remarks on Sunday, Xi insisted that “the full reunification of the country must and will be achieved.” ”We will continue to strive for a peaceful reunification, but we will never give up the use of force,” he said.
Tensions between the US and China have been high in recent months, especially after the visit to Taipei by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In response, China held large-scale military exercises, which Taiwan condemned as a “provocation”.