Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen urges rejection of ‘one country, two systems’ model she says fails HK

11-Oct-2019 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen has denounced Beijing for its efforts to force the island into unification talks under the “one country, two systems” model which, she said, is failing Hong Kong.

In her address on Thursday marking the 108th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of China Taiwan’s official name Tsai called on its citizens to firmly reject that model, which she said would threaten the self-ruled island’s survival.

Arguing that “Hong Kong is on the verge of chaos due to the failure of one country, two systems,” Tsai said Taiwan must say no to the idea.

“My fellow citizens, when freedom and democracy are challenged, and when the Republic of China’s existence and development are threatened, we must stand up and defend ourselves,” she said.

“The overwhelming consensus among Taiwan’s 23 million people is our rejection of one country, two systems, regardless of party affiliation or political position,” she said.

“But if we were to accept one country, two systems, there would no longer be room for the Republic of China’s existence. As president, standing up to protect national sovereignty is not a provocation it is my fundamental responsibility,” Tsai said.

Hong Kong is in the 18th week of protests triggered by a now-withdrawn extradition bill which was, campaigners claimed, orchestrated by Beijing so that dissidents could be sent to the mainland for trial.

Since October 1, China’s National Day, protesters have escalated vandalism and violence, wrecking and burning shops, bank branches and subway stations.

Protesters said that by appointing its supporters to rule the city and refusing to allow general elections, Beijing has betrayed the promise made at the time of the British handover in 1997 for 50 years of autonomy in Hong Kong.

Tsai’s comments on Hong Kong were at odds with President Xi Jinping’s call for Taiwan to hold reunification talks under the one-China principle with one country, two systems as the model.

During National Day celebrations on October 1, Xi repeated his call for continued efforts to realise the country’s complete reunification.

“On our journey forward, we must uphold the principles of ‘peaceful reunification’ and one country, two systems, maintain lasting prosperity and stability in Hong Kong and Macau, promote the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations, unite all Chinese sons and daughters, and continue to strive for the motherland’s complete reunification,” the president said.



Category: Taiwan

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