Taiwan president: We will never accept reunification with China under terms set by Beijing

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen on Wednesday rejected Chinese President Xi Jinping's insistence that the island be reunited with China.

"I want to reiterate that Taiwan will never accept 'one country, two systems.' The vast majority of Taiwanese public opinion also resolutely opposes 'one country, two systems,' and this is also the 'Taiwan consensus,'"  Tsai said, according to the BBC.

The BBC reported that Tsai delivered a speech on Tuesday to mark the new year in which she said China must use peaceful means to address its issues with Taiwan, and that it must "face squarely the reality of the existence of the Republic of China on Taiwan."

ADVERTISEMENT

Tsai's comments pressing independence came as Chinese President Xi Jinping pushed for reunification in New Year's Day comments of his own.

Xi argued that Taiwanese independence "will only bring hardship," and that unification was "an inevitable requirement for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese people."

Taiwan, which sees itself as a sovereign state with its own government, is considered by China to be a breakaway province and an inseparable part of its territory. 

China has attempted to exert certain measures of control over Taiwan, including last year when it required U.S. airlines to remove explicit references to Taiwan in their flight listings.

The White House slammed that request as "Orwellian nonsense," but the airlines complied in July.

In September, China warned against a State Department-approved sale of F-16 fighter jet spare parts to Taiwan.