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Beijing has stern words for Hong Kong and Taiwan

Pushback against notions of independence could be taken as message to Trump

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Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong holds a sign that reads "defend judicial independence" at a Feb. 27 news conference held by chief executive candidate Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor.   © Reuters

BEIJING The work report delivered by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on March 5 stressed, in unusually strong terms, the government's opposition to any independence moves in Hong Kong and Taiwan. This underscores President Xi Jinping's hard-line approach to diplomacy and can also be taken as a message to new U.S. President Donald Trump.

"We will resolutely oppose and contain separatist activities for Taiwan independence," Li said in his opening address to the National People's Congress. The previous year's report did not use the word "contain." The addition was likely prompted by a remark by Trump, prior to his inauguration, that the U.S. might not be "bound by a 'One China' policy" -- the notion that Taiwan is part of China.

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