Ahead of Xi’s speech, Tsai said Tuesday that China must use peaceful means to resolve its differences with Taiwan and respect its democratic values.
“Here, I would like to call on China to face squarely the reality of the existence of the Republic of China on Taiwan,” Tsai said, referring to the island’s formal name.
China “must respect the insistence of 23 million people on freedom and democracy, and must use peaceful, on parity means to handle our differences,” she added.
On Wednesday, Xi advocated for peaceful unification of the two sides and said the “private assets, religions, and beliefs and legitimate rights of the people in Taiwan will also be fully guaranteed.”
“The unification of China will never hurt the legitimate interests of other countries including their economic interests in Taiwan,” Xi added. “It will only bring more opportunities for other countries.”
—Reuters contributed to this report.