Chinese President Xi Jinping vowed to “smash” any attempts by Taiwan at formal independence and pledged to complete “reunification” with the democratic country.

“Solving the Taiwan question and realizing the complete reunification of the motherland are the unswerving historical tasks of the Chinese Communist Party and the common aspiration of all Chinese people,” Xi said during a ceremony commemorating the 100th birthday of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on Thursday.

“All sons and daughters of China, including compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, must work together and move forward in solidarity, resolutely smashing any ‘Taiwan independence’ plots.”

In response to Xi’s remarks, Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council says the CCP is a dictatorship that has trampled on people’s freedoms and should embrace democracy.

“Its historical decision-making errors and persistent harmful actions have caused serious threats to regional security,” it added.

“Our government’s determination to firmly defend the nation’s sovereignty and Taiwan’s democracy and freedom and to maintain peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait remains unchanged.”

While Taiwan considers itself an independent nation and has rejected the “one China principle,” the Chinese regime has increased efforts to assert its claim of Taiwan in recent months. In June, Beijing sent a record number of Chinese jets into the Taiwan air defence zone. 

Critics of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have called on the Canadian government to do more to support Taiwan.

A Politico report earlier this year suggested that the Liberals attempted to prevent an international award from being awarded to Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.

Following the report’s publication, the government reversed course and Taiwan was awarded the Halifax International Security Forum’s John McCain Prize for Leadership in Public Service.