Oct 13, 2019 – swissinfo.ch
BEIJING (Reuters) – 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 and U.S. criticism over its treatment of Muslim minority groups.
“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.
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.
(Reporting by Yawen Chen and Ryan Woo; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)