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Hours later, China's President Xi Jinping appeared to confirm Mr Abbott's remarks as he said that "reunification" with Taiwan "must be fulfilled".

Xi said "reunification through a peaceful manner is the most in line with the overall interest of the Chinese nation, including Taiwan compatriots", but added that China would protect its sovereignty and unity.

But they 're not going to give up on national ambition of reunification as they see it.

'Taiwan sees itself as a self-governing democracy and the people have very little desire for reunification with China. '

The recent voyages through the Strait of Taiwan by the British and American navies, coupled with the new Aukus defence pact have infuriated Beijing and sparked more shows of strength in the South China Sea.

Taiwan considers itself a sovereign state, while China views Taiwan as a breakaway province.

"Taiwan's independence separatism is the biggest obstacle to achieving the reunification of the motherland, and the most serious hidden danger to national rejuvenation," he said the day before the anniversary of the revolution that overthrew China ’ s last imperial dynasty in 1911.

Beijing has sent large numbers of military aircraft into Taiwan’s air defence zone (Image: EXPRESS)

Speaking at Beijing ’ s Great Hall of the People, Xi said the Chinese people had a "glorious tradition" of opposing separatism.

In response, Taiwan said its future lay in the hands of its people.

Beijing has not ruled out the possible use of force to achieve unification.

Mr Xi's intervention comes after China sent a record number of military jets into Taiwan's air defence zone in recent days.

Pictured: Britain's HMS Queen Elizabeth warship (second right at the head of the armada) took part in joint training with warships from six different countries over the weekend in the Philippine Sea amid rising tensions between China and Taiwan

Some analysts say the flights could be seen as a warning to Taiwan's president ahead of the island's national day on Sunday.

But Mr Xi's remarks on Saturday were more conciliatory than his last major intervention on Taiwan in July, where he pledged to "smash" any attempts at formal Taiwanese independence.

But he added : "No one should underestimate the Chinese people's staunch determination, firm will, and strong ability to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity."

"the historical task of the complete reunification of the motherland must be fulfilled, and will definitely be fulfilled,"

Beijing has not ruled out the possible use of force to achieve unification (Image: GETTY)

Mr Xi has said he wants to see unification occur under a "one country, two systems" principle, similar to that employed in Hong Kong, which is part of China but has a high degree of autonomy.

But Taiwan's presidential office said that public opinion was very clear in rejecting one country, two systems.

in a separate statement, taiwan's mainland affairs council called on beijing to "abandon its provocative steps of intrusion, harassment and destruction".

Shortly before Mr Xi spoke in Beijing, Taiwan's Premier Su Tseng-chang accused China of "flexing its muscles" and stoking tensions.

Pictured: Tourists pose with national flags in China

Despite the recent heightened tensions, relations between China and Taiwan have not deteriorated to levels last seen in 1996 when China tried to disrupt presidential elections with missile tests and the US dispatched aircraft carriers to the region to dissuade them.

Taiwan responded shortly after by calling on Beijing to abandon its "coercion", reiterating that only Taiwan's people could decide their future.

In an interview with the BBC this week, US national security adviser Jake Sullivan said the US will "stand up and speak out" over any actions that may "undermine peace and stability" across the Taiwan Strait.

meanwhile, according to the wall street journal on thursday, about two dozen us special forces and marines have been training taiwanese forces, in the latest indication of the extent of us involvement in the tensions in the area.

Tony Abbott raised concerns of an imminent Chinese invasion during a speech in Taipei this week (Image: GETTY)

DO N'T MISS Will China invade Taiwan?

"it's quite possible that Beijing could lash out disastrously very soon."

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