China has withdrawn a promise not to send troops or administrators to Taiwan if it takes control of the island, an official document showed on Wednesday, signalling a decision by President Xi Jinping to grant less autonomy than previously offered.
China's white paper on its position on self-ruled Taiwan follows days of unprecedented Chinese military exercises near the island, which Beijing claims as its territory, in protest against U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit last week. read more
China had said in two previous white papers on Taiwan, in 1993 and 2000, that it "will not send troops or administrative personnel to be based in Taiwan" after achieving what Beijing terms "reunification".
That line, meant to assure Taiwan it would enjoy autonomy after becoming a special administrative region of China, did not appear in the latest white paper.
China's ruling Communist Party had proposed that Taiwan could return to its rule under a "one country, two systems" model, similar to the formula under which the former British colony of Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997.
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