Overseas Chinese from more than 120 countries and regions gathered on Saturday, both online and in person, for a conference in Sichuan Province to voice their support for China's peaceful reunification.
More than 3,000 members of the global Chinese community attended the convention, known as the Overseas Chinese World Conference for Promoting Peaceful Reunification of China. Launched 22 years ago, the conference came amid strained cross-strait relations.
The participants pushed for upholding the one-China principle while opposing "Taiwan independence." They called for a peaceful reunification of China.
"Since U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan, there has been a lot of disinformation in Western countries. So, we really need overseas Chinese to unite together, to go through this difficult process," said Cao Yanling, chairperson of the Federation of Overseas Chinese Associations in Europe.
Participants highlighted a key consensus reached between the mainland and Taiwan in 1992. Under the framework, both sides of the Taiwan Straits belong to one China, and will work together toward national reunification.
Lan Puchou, founding chairman of the Taiwan Cross-Strait Peaceful Development Association, told CGTN that, "I think it's already been in the process of reunification. And we should work out some of the unsolved problems. The economy is the foundation. Besides, we should solve some political problems, and emotional and cultural identity problems, to awaken the Taiwan people's Chinese identity which was ruined by the Kuomintang."
The conference saw the adoption of the Chengdu Declaration. It emphasizes that the one-China principle cannot be challenged, and peaceful development of cross-strait relations is unstoppable.
"The declaration gives 'Taiwan independence' forces a serious warning. We sincerely hope for peaceful reunification, but we still have another option, that is to use force. If they declare Taiwan independence, we have no other choice but to use force," explained Guan Liang, vice president of the China Overseas Friendship Association.
The key document also points out that China must be reunified. It says that "Taiwan independence" is a path that leads to nowhere. A number of speakers urged countries to stop interfering in China's internal affairs and return to mutual respect.
"This conference has sent a message to overseas Chinese that our determination and confidence in China's reunification will never change. It is inevitable and necessary for Taiwan to achieve reunification, and any attempt or action to separate Taiwan from China will surely meet with shameful failure," said Xu Changbin, president of the All-Africa China Peaceful Reunification Promotion Association.
Participants of the conference agreed that reunification is an essential step toward national rejuvenation. They called on overseas Chinese to jointly defend and promote the cause of peaceful reunification, and not tolerate the separatist activities of those seeking "Taiwan independence."