China to kick off year of sensitive anniversaries with major speech on Taiwan

Reuters
Date: DECEMBER 30, 2018 

BEIJING (Reuters) – China will kick off a year of sensitive anniversaries with a major speech

FILE PHOTO: Chinese President Xi Jinping prepares to leave at the end of an event marking the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening up at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China December 18, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee

on Wednesday by President Xi Jinping on Taiwan, China’s most sensitive issue.

In 2019 China will celebrate 70 years since Communist China’s founding. Anniversaries are always touchy events in China, where maintaining stability is the ruling Communist Party’s overwhelming priority.

Next year brings at least six that could unsettle the party, from June’s 30 years since the bloody Tiananmen crackdown to October’s 70 years since Mao Zedong proclaimed the founding of the People’s Republic at the end of an even bloodier civil war.

But it will be self-ruled Taiwan, proudly democratic and claimed by China as its own, that will be the focus of Xi’s first important, pre-announced public event of the year.

State news agency Xinhua said on Monday that Xi will give a major speech in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People on the 40th anniversary of a key policy statement that led to a thaw in relations with Taiwan, the “Message to Compatriots in Taiwan”.

Xinhua gave no other details.    [SOURCE]

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