July 18, 2015

President Xi Jinping targets making China a developed country by 2050 and achieving unification with Taiwan by 2049

China is set to become more proactive in efforts to ensure global security and make a positive contribution, with a target of achieving cross-strait unification before the People's Republic of China marks the 100th anniversary of its founding in 2049.

The ultimate goal in Xi's strategy is to establish China as a developed country by 2050, a leader in building order in the region and a key player in maintaining global security. As Xi considers the Taiwan issue as part of China's national security, Taiwan should not overlook the significance of Beijing's recent moves to push for greater integration.

The goal during the second phase before the Communist Party of China celebrates the 100th anniversary of its founding in 2020 is to modernize the government, raise public income levels and assume a role in shaping regional and global security.

Beijing has also recently waived the entry permit requirement for Taiwanese planning to travel to China, while establishing a pilot free trade zone in Fujian province and encouraging young Taiwanese to start businesses there.

Fearing that Taiwan could bemoving further away from China, Xi decided to establish a further legal framework for Beijing's efforts to achieve its goal of unification and introduce measures to bring the two sides of the Taiwan Strait closer in order to wield greater influence over Taiwan's politics and economy.

The status quo is being re-evaluated given that opposition Democratic Progressive Party leader Tsai Ing-wen is the frontrunner in Taiwan's 2016 presidential race and the Kuomintang administration of Ma Ying-jeou, constrained by public opinion, has become less helpful in the push for unification.

Beijing is resorting to new measures to promote integration amid concerns about increasing opposition to the idea of ultimate unification and a stronger sense of Taiwanese identity especially among the younger generation.

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