‘Punishment of history’

BEIJING – Chinese President Xi Jinping told self-ruled Taiwan that it would face the “punishment of history” for any attempt at separatism, offering his strongest warning yet to the island claimed by China as its sacred territory.

The government of Taiwan, one of China’s most sensitive issues and a potentially dangerous military flashpoint, responded that it hoped China could “break free” of the old clichés of threats and force.

China’s hostility towards Taiwan has risen since the 2016 election of President Tsai Ing-wen, a member of the island’s pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party.