BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping warned on Sunday that any attempt to divide China will be crushed, as Beijing faces political challenges in months-long protests in Hong Kong.
“Anyone attempting to split China in any part of the country will end in crushed bodies and shattered bones,” he told Nepal’s Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli in a meeting on Sunday, according to China’s state broadcaster CCTV.
“And any external forces backing such attempts dividing China will be deemed by the Chinese people as pipe-dreaming!” he was quoted as saying.
Xi, the first Chinese president to visit Nepal in 22 years, arrived in Nepal on Saturday on a state visit. Both sides are expected to sign a deal expanding a railway link between the Himalayan nation and Tibet.
尼泊尔友好国家中华人民共和国国家主席习近平阁下对尼泊尔维持两天的历史性访问非常成功的。他对尼泊尔的访问，两国关系到一个新的高度和得到动力的。 通过尼泊尔的访问，他对尼泊尔和尼泊尔人民表示得友好情谊表示衷心的感谢。为了访问成功，所有尼泊尔人民，姐妹和兄弟表示诚挚的感谢。 pic.twitter.com/IvBPbI5FK3— K P Sharma Oli (@kpsharmaoli) October 13, 2019
Nepal’s Oli told Xi that the country will oppose any “anti-China activities” on its soil, CCTV reported.
China, which is trying to de-escalate a protracted trade war with the United States, has seen its political authority tested by increasingly violent protests in Hong Kong against what is seen as Beijing’s tightening grip on the Chinese-ruled city.
Police in Hong Kong have used rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannons against pro-democracy demonstrators in the former British colony, which has been plunged into its worst political crisis in decades.
US president Donald Trump had said it would be difficult to negotiate with China if anything “bad” happens in Chinese authorities’ handling of the Hong Kong protests.
Trump said he discussed the issue of Hong Kong with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He on Saturday during their latest round of talks. Both sides reached a “phase-one deal” that has raised optimism for a broader agreement although many fundamental issues remained unresolved and existing tariffs are still not lifted.