“Never before have we been so close to, confident in, and capable of achieving the goal of national rejuvenation. The same is true when it comes to our goal of complete national reunification.”
So reads a new white paper issued by the Taiwan Affairs office of the State Council of China. While the lengthy document’s framework laying claim to Taiwan is based on long-standing Chinese positions, the tone serves to underscore Beijing’s confidence that it will achieve peaceful unification with Taiwan on its own terms.
The document is also pertinent for its “policy as messaging” function, both to Taiwan and the U.S. politicians that support it. In the aftermath of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan last week, much of the commentary and analysis in the U.S. and elsewhere has been on the visit’s impact on U.S.-China relations, as well as the prospects for a new crisis or even war in the Taiwan Strait. China’s live-fire military drills, as well as the economic and diplomatic measures it has imposed on Taiwan and the U.S. in response to the visit, have raised alarm, leaving Western analysts divided over whether Pelosi’s trip was an unnecessary provocation of Beijing or an important symbolic gesture of support to Taipei.