While China may still see Taiwan as a part of its territory, even though the two nations split in 1949 and are governed separately, there are many in Taiwan who have made their displeasure with Beijing evident in the past. And on Saturday, October 20, thousands of pro-independence demonstrators gathered in the capital city of Taipei to call out China's 'bullying."
The rally organised by the Formosa Alliance, backed by two pro-independence former Taiwan presidents Lee Teng-hui and Chen Shui-bian, is said to be the largest since Taiwan separated from China and is estimated to have witnessed about 80,000 participants.
The supporters carried banners and placards demanding an independent Taiwan and were also heard chanting slogans such as "Want Referendum!" and "Oppose Annexation!" Taiwan considers itself a sovereign state with its own political and judicial system and its own currency, the Taiwan dollar, and believes that it doesn't need to be a territory of China.
"We want to tell China to stop bullying Taiwan," alliance leader Kuo Pei-horng told the crowd, according to the Agence France-Presse. "Taiwanese people want to be their own master."
Supporters too were loud and clear on their stance and said that Taiwan did not want to be known as China's territory anymore. "I want to loudly say no to China," Ping Cheng-wen, a demonstrator, told the Associated Press. "I just don't agree with China's rhetoric. We have our own sovereignty, and Taiwan is a country."
Another demonstrator said that those who want Taiwan to be a part of China should just move to China and live there. "We have to be real Taiwanese, not fake Chinese," Kuo Jung-min added. "There is no use being Chinese. Those who advocate pro-unification still live in Taiwan. If China is that good, why don't they just move to China?"
China has now lashed out at Taiwan and said that it would have no choice but to use force if Taipei tried to split.
China has always considered Taiwan a part of its territory and had cut all contact with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen's government in 2016 in a bid to compel her to agree to China's belief that the country was a part of China. However, Tsai has always spoken of standing up for the Taiwanese people and recently told China not to be a "source of conflict."
Tsai also said that Taiwan would boost its defences against China's violent threats.
Meanwhile, Taiwan is planning a referendum in November 2018 to decide if the nation wants to take part in Olympic events as "Taiwan" or "Chinese Taipei."