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Xi: Nobody can change fact Taiwan is part of China | China News

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Chinese President Xi Jinping has said that no one can change the fact that Taiwan is “part of China”, adding that Beijing will not give up the use of military force as an option to ensure “reunification”.

Xi made the comments on Wednesday in a speech marking the 40th anniversary of a policy statement that eventually led to a thaw in relations with the self-ruled island.

“We are firmly against those who conspire behind the ideo of ‘Two China’, or ‘One China-One Taiwan’, or Taiwan Independence,” Xi said in a part of his first major speech addressing the people of what Beijing considers a breakaway province.

“We have achieved great victory on defeating any pro-independence or separatist activities. Nobody, and no party, can change the historical and legal that Taiwan is part of China and that both sides of the strait belong to China,” Xi said in Beijing.

China “reserves the option of taking all necessary measures” against outside forces that interfere with peaceful reunification and Taiwan independence separatist activities, he added.

Tsai says Taiwanese want to maintain self-rule

His speech came a day after Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen called on China to seek a peaceful solution on their differences, insisting people on the island want to maintain self-rule.

“I would like to call on China to face squarely the reality of the existence of the Republic of China on Taiwan,” Tsai said in a New Year’s Day address, referring to the island’s formal name.

She added that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait needed a pragmatic understanding of the basic differences that exist between them in terms of values and political systems.

China “must respect the insistence of 23 million people on freedom and democracy, and must use peaceful, on parity means to handle our differences”, Tsaid said.

Graham Ong-Webb, research fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University, said Xi’s remarks on Wednesday were “consistent” with the “message put out by the Chinese government over the last 40 years under the tenure of a string of premiers”.

He noted, however, that the Chinese president in recent years has been delivering “the same message albeit in a more sharp and firm stance for various reasons”.

“At the end of the day, there is a timeline when it comes to reunification and the Chinese government has to achieve this goal at some stage,” Ong-Webb told Al Jazeera from Singapore.

China interference ‘Taiwan’s biggest challenge’

The Chinese government has heaped pressure on Tsai since she took office in 2016, cutting off dialogue, whittling down Taiwan’s few remaining diplomatic allies and forcing foreign airlines to list Taiwan as part of China on their websites.

It fears Tsai wishes to push for Taiwan’s formal independence, though Tsai says she wants to maintain the status quo. Beijing has regularly sent military aircraft and ships to circle the island on drills.

China’s interference in the island’s political and social development is “Taiwan’s biggest challenge at the moment”, Tsai said on Tuesday.

Beijing denies any interference in Taiwan’s internal affairs. It views Taiwan as a wayward province, to be brought under its control by force if needed, with no right to international recognition as a separate political entity.

Democratic Taiwan has shown no interest in being ruled by autocratic China.

Liu Jieyi, head of China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, said in his new year’s message they had not wavered last year in the face of “deliberate provocations” from Taiwan’s government.

“Although the way ahead won’t all be plain sailing, we have the confidence and the ability to vanquish risks and challenges,” he said in a statement on the office’s website.

Focus on 2020 elections

Xi’s speech marked 40 years since a message sent to Taiwan in 1979, in which Beijing called for unification and an end to military confrontation.

In January 1979, Beijing declared an end to what had been routine artillery bombardment of Taiwan-controlled offshore islands close to China and offered to open up communications between the two sides, after decades of hostility.

Chiang Kai-shek fled with defeated Nationalist forces to Taiwan in December 1949 after losing a civil war to the Communists.

Despite the deep business, cultural and personal links which exist today, no peace treaty or formal end to hostilities has been signed

Taiwan is gearing up for presidential elections in a year’s time. Tsai’s pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party suffered stinging losses to the China-friendly Kuomintang in mayoral and local elections in November.

Looking ahead, Ong-Webb said that “things are going to be a bit choppy” between China and Taiwan over the next year or so.

“We have to look to the 2020 general elections, which is what the Chinese government is doing to see how they can shake the ground to get the outcome that they want which is to have the nationalistKuomintang party come back to power.”

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Tiger-Cats claim victory against the Argos to maintain home record on Labour Day

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The Hamilton Tiger-Cats were at their devastating best against the Toronto Argonauts when the two locked horns on Labour Day at the Tim Hortons Field.

Just like with previous Labour Day fixtures, the Ticats produced a stellar performance with Dane Evans throwing two touchdown passes while Frankie Williams scored on a 67-yard punt return as they claimed a 32-19 victory on Monday. With this vital win, the Ticats extended their Labour Day home record to 7-0.

For players and fans of the Tiger-Cats, games on Labour Day are a lot more special and losing is something the Ticats aren’t used to.

“We know the fans are going to be behind us, we know Toronto is going to be chippy, we know it’s going to be sunny; we know it’s going to be windy. Everything that happened (Monday) we prepared for. There is something extremely special about Tim Hortons Field on Labour Day . . . you can feel it in the air, I can’t put it into words,” said Evans.

After the COVID-19 induced hiatus, the CFL is back in full action and fans can now bet on their favourite teams and just like with online slots Canada, real money can be won. Hamilton (2-2) recorded its second straight win to move into a tie atop the CFL East Division standings with Montreal Alouettes (2-2). Also, the Ticats lead the overall Labour Day series with Toronto 36-13-1.

In the sun-drenched gathering of 15,000—the maximum allowed under Ontario government COVID-19 protocols—the fans loved every minute of this feisty game. After all, this was the Ticats first home game in 659 days, since their 36-16 East Division final win over Edmonton in November 2019.

The contest between the Ticats and Argos was certainly not bereft of emotions, typical of a Labour Day fixture, as it ended with an on-field melee. But the Argos often found themselves on the wrong end of the decisions with several penalty calls and most of the game’s explosive plays.

Hamilton quarterback Evans completed 21-of-29 passing for 248 yards and the two touchdowns while Toronto’s make-shift quarterback Arbuckle completed 18-of-32 attempts for 207 yards. Arbuckle also made a touchdown and two interceptions before eventually being substituted by McLeod Bethel-Thompson.

Bethel-Thompson made an eight-yard TD pass to wide receiver Eric Rogers late in the final quarter of the game.

“They got after us a bit . . . we didn’t block, or pass protect well,” said Ryan Dinwiddie, rookie head coach of the Argos in a post-match interview. “They just kicked our butts; we’ve got to come back and be a better team next week.”

The Labour Day contest was the first of four fixtures this year between Toronto and Hamilton. The two teams would face off again on Friday at BMO Field. Afterwards, the Tim Hortons Field will play host to the Argonauts again on Oct. 11 with the regular-season finale scheduled for Nov. 12 in Toronto.

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Roughriders looking to bounce back after Labor Day defeat

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In what an unusual feeling for the Saskatchewan Roughriders, they would now need to dust themselves up after a 23-8 loss to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in what was a Labor Day Classic showdown in front of a full capacity crowd at Mosaic stadium.

Craig Dickenson, head coach of the Riders, witnessed his team with an unbeaten record get utterly dominated by a more superior team from Winnipeg. Now, he has got a lot of work on his hands getting his team back to winning ways as they visit the Banjo Bowl next.

“We’re going to see what we’re made of now…the jury’s out,” said Dickenson.

Dan Clark, who played centre for the Riders expressed his disappointment in losing what was “the biggest game of the year”.

 “If you lose every other game, you don’t want to lose that one. We’ve just got to take the next step,” said Clark in a report. “There are 12 steps to the Grey Cup left and it’s just about taking that next step and focusing on what Saturday will bring.”

With their first defeat to Winnipeg, the Riders (3-1) now rank second place in the CFL’s West Division, trailing the Bombers by one victory (4-1). However, the Riders will have the chance to even the season series during their trip to Winnipeg this Saturday. With the CFL heating up, fans can now enjoy online sports betting Canada as they look forward to their team’s victory.

The Rider’s offensive line will once again have a busy time dealing with the Blue Bombers’ defence.

Quarterback Cody Fajardo, who played one of the best games of his career two weeks earlier, had quite a stinker against the Bombers in the Labour Day Classic—which is the most anticipated game for Rider fans.

Fajardo had a 59 per cent completion percentage which wasn’t quite indicative of what the actual figure was considering he was at 50 per cent before going on a late drive in the final quarter with the Bombers already becoming laid back just to protect the win.

Fajardo also registered a personal worst when he threw three interceptions, but in all fairness, he was always swarmed by the Bomber’s defence.

While Fajardo has claimed responsibility for the loss and letting his teammates down, many would be curious to see how the team fares in their next game and with less than a week of preparation.

Dickenson is confident that his team would improve during their rematch in the 17th edition of the Banjo Bowl in Winnipeg. The only challenge now would be the loss of home advantage and dealing with the noisy home crowd, he added.

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Canadian report reveals spike in food-related litter during pandemic

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TORONTO — Restaurants’ inability to offer their usual dine-in service during much of 2020 may explain why an unusually high amount of food-related litter was found across the country, a new report says.

The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup (GCSC) is an annual program in which volunteers are encouraged to clean up green spaces and other natural areas.

Last year, single-use food and beverage containers made up 26.6 per cent of waste collected through the program – nearly twice as high a percentage as in 2019, before the pandemic.

“We suspect the change may be one of the many implications of COVID-19, including more people ordering restaurant takeaway and consuming more individually packaged foods,” GCSC spokesperson Julia Wakeling said in a press release.

While food- and beverage-related litter accounted for a greater percentage of waste uncovered by GCSC than in the past, it wasn’t the single largest category of items picked up through the program last year.

That dubious honour goes to cigarette butts and other smoking-related paraphernalia, which comprised nearly 29 per cent of all items collected. There were more than 83,000 cigarette butts among the 42,000 kilograms of waste found and clean up last year.

So-called “tiny trash” – little pieces of plastic and foam – also accounted for a sizeable share of the waste, making up 26.8 per cent of the total haul.

In addition to smoking-related items and tiny trash, the main pieces of litter removed by GCSC volunteers last year included nearly 22,000 food wrappers, more than 17,500 pieces of paper, more than 13,000 bottle caps and more than 10,000 beverage cans.

Discarded face masks and other forms of personal protective equipment were also detected and cleaned up, although not tallied in their own category.  PPE waste has been repeatedly cited as a concern by environmental advocates during the pandemic; a robin in Chilliwack, B.C. is the earliest known example of an animal that died due to coronavirus-related litter.

The GCSC is an annual program organized by Ocean Wise and the World Wildlife Fund Canada. Its operations were disrupted by the pandemic as well; only 15,000 volunteers took part in the program last year, versus 85,000 in 2019, due to delays and public health restrictions making large group clean-ups impossible.

Still, there was GCSC participation from every province and the Northwest Territories in 2020. Nearly half of the volunteers who took part were based in B.C., where the program began in 1994.

Data from past GCSC reports was used as part of the research backing Canada’s ban on certain single-use plastic items, which is scheduled to take effect by the end of 2021.

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