Fighting against separatism and countering interference from foreign forces aimed at "Taiwan independence" have been highlighted in the report to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, given the unprecedented risks across the Taiwan Straits, experts said.
While delivering the report at the opening session of the congress on Sunday, Xi Jinping said that resolving the Taiwan question is a matter for the Chinese people, and is a matter that must be resolved by the Chinese people.
Xi said that China will continue to strive for peaceful reunification with the greatest sincerity and the utmost effort, "but we will never promise to renounce the use of force, and we reserve the option of taking all measures necessary".
This statement is directed solely at interference by outside forces and the few separatists seeking "Taiwan independence" and their separatist activities, and it is by no means targeted at Taiwan compatriots, he said.
Tang Yonghong, deputy director of Xiamen University's Taiwan Research Center, said that with China's growth, the United States has shifted its strategy toward China to strategic competition aimed at containment and suppression, adding that the US is using Taiwan to contain the Chinese mainland, while the Democratic Progressive Party authorities on the island rely on the US to seek "independence".
"The collusion between the DPP and the US is now more intense than at any time since China and the US established diplomatic relations," Tang said.
It has not only seriously influenced the prospect of China's peaceful reunification, but also the country's development and national rejuvenation, he added.
A white paper on the Taiwan question issued in August reiterated that Taiwan is part of China, which is an indisputable fact supported by history and the law. Any attempt to distort these facts and dispute or deny the one-China principle will end in failure.
"It is the sacred right of every sovereign state to safeguard national unity and territorial integrity. It goes without saying that the Chinese government is entitled to take all measures necessary to settle the Taiwan question and achieve national reunification, free of external interference," the white paper said.
Although it is clear that Taiwan is part of China, "the cross-Straits situation has undergone serious challenges in the past decade, with escalating collusion between the US and Taiwan", said Huang Zhixian, president of the All-China Federation of Taiwan Compatriots and a delegate to the 20th CPC National Congress.
Lin Yen-chen, who is from Taiwan and is now a doctoral student at Peking University's School of International Studies, said, "The secessionists do not care about the wellbeing of the people in Taiwan."
The DPP authorities use people's hard-earned money to buy weapons from the US and engage in meaningless ideological confrontation against the mainland, he said. "None of this will help the people of Taiwan live a better and happier life."
Tang, from Xiamen University, said, "Facing the current situation, the CPC gave the latest answers on how to solve the Taiwan question in the report."
Compared with the report to the 19th CPC National Congress, the report to the 20th CPC National Congress continues to stress fighting against separatism and countering interference, while putting more emphasis on resolving the Taiwan question and achieving China's complete reunification, Tang said.
While calling for opposing "Taiwan independence" and promoting reunification, the report made it clear that the mainland "will never promise to renounce the use of force", he said.
Jiang Erxiong, another delegate to the congress and also president of the Fujian Federation of Taiwan Compatriots, said that one highlight of the content related to Taiwan is that the Party's overall policy of solving the Taiwan question in the new era has been included in the report.
It's clearly pointed out in the report that "Taiwan is China's Taiwan" and it necessarily draws a red line for "Taiwan independence" separatists and external forces, she said.
While making clear the bottom line that the mainland will adopt peaceful means to solve the Taiwan question but reserves the option of the use of force, it also clearly distinguishes between the secessionists and Taiwan compatriots.
Lin Tse-yuan, who is originally from Taiwan and is now an associate professor at East China Normal University's School of Communication, said that the significance of the Taiwan question and the severe situation were demonstrated by the mentions in the report of the fight against separatism and countering interference.
"Facing an unprecedentedly severe cross-Straits situation, the CPC conveys its firm attitude toward foreign forces' meddling in China's internal affairs through the fighting spirit mentioned many times in the report," he said.
Huang, the delegate, said that the Party leadership, with great wisdom, courage and strong determination, has taken resolute measures to counter these provocations with measures in political, economic, military and diplomatic fields, which have effectively countered the "arrogance of these Western forces and 'Taiwan independence' forces".