BEIJING • Chinese people have a "sacred mission" to ensure Taiwan is always considered part of China, a top Chinese leader has said ahead of the 70th anniversary of Japan giving up control of Taiwan at the end of World War II.
Taiwan was a Japanese colony from 1895 to 1945 and the then Nationalist government of China took over rule of the island after Japan lost the war. Japan had gained control of Taiwan from imperial China.
But the Nationalists had to flee to Taiwan in 1949 after losing a civil war with the communists, who to this day insist the island is an integral part of China and have never renounced the use of force to bring it under Beijing's control.
Speaking at an event in Beijing to mark the anniversary yesterday, Mr Yu Zhengsheng, the party's fourth-ranked leader, said Taiwan's "recovery" had "washed away the national shame" of repeated foreign invasions of China.
Since 1949, the reality that the mainland and Taiwan were part of one China had never changed, Mr Yu said, in comments carried by the official Xinhua news agency.
"Maintaining the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and maintaining no changes to the position that Taiwan is part of China, is a sacred mission for all the sons and daughters of China," he added.