On Taiwan's national day, which marks the 108th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of China, the president calls on the island’s people to reject the model that has brought Hong Kong "to the verge of chaos". For her, China's rise has occurred through a “combination of authoritarianism, nationalism, and economic might.”
Taipei (AsiaNews) – Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen rejected Beijing's proposal to reunite with the mainland under the "one country, two systems" model. The latter has failed in Hong Kong, bringing the territory "on the verge of chaos ".
In her speech today, the Double Tenth, marking the 108th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of China, the president 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.”
Since 1949, when Chiang Kai-shek fled the mainland, Taiwan has been the seat of the government of the Republic of China, currently recognised by 15 countries in the world.
The People's Republic of China, with the capital in Beijing, is recognised by most countries in the world. It considers Taiwan a breakaway province and wants to bring it back into the national fold.
In the past, Beijing has threatened to use force to subdue the island and block any move towards independence. At the same time, it has proposed reunification under the Hong Kong model of ‘one country, two systems’, which could leave the island with substantial autonomy.
Recent events in the former British colony have however undermined that model, given that China's influence in Hong Kong is ever greater in economic, cultural and political terms, weakening Hong Kong's liberal regime.
Chinese President Xi Jinping called for Taiwan's return to China on the national day of the People's Republic of China. But for President Tsai, “if we were to accept ‘one country, two systems,’ there would no longer be room for the Republic of China's existence."
What is more, in her view, “We are witnessing China's rise and expansion, as they challenge free, democratic values and the global order through a combination of authoritarianism, nationalism, and economic might.”
Tsai concluded her address to the nation, calling on all Taiwanese to "remain united under the banner of freedom and democracy," so as to “face the future with optimism and overcome challenges with determination."