Hong Kong to Taiwan

Associated Press

Taiwan’s pro-independence movement and the government hardly see eye to eye, but thanks to Chinese President Xi Jinping, both sides are singing the same tune: no to “one country, two systems.”

In remarks delivered at a meeting with pro-unification delegates from Taiwan on Friday, Mr. Xi said China took “a firm and unwavering stance” on reunification with Taiwan. He went on to say that the best way to resolve lingering animosity across the Taiwan Strait was to employ the “one country, two systems” framework that governs Beijing’s relationships with Hong Kong and Macau.

All of that dovetails with Mr. Xi’s longstanding position that Taiwan, which Beijing considers a renegade province, must eventually reunite with China. What baffled many in Taiwan was that Mr. Xi would pitch them the same political arrangement as Hong Kong even as protesters in Hong Kong were questioning it.

The “one country, two systems” framework was originally formulated in the 1960s with Taiwan in mind, according to China’s foreign ministry, but it was first implemented in Hong Kong to reassure the U.K. that city’s civil liberties would remain intact after the colony was handed back to China in 1997.

“Following the Hong Kong experience, if [Mr. Xi] still thinks ‘one country, two systems’ can still cheat the people, then [he is] clearly way too naive, ” said Huang Kuo-chang, a principle leader in Taiwan’s Sunflower Movement, a political action that cautions Taiwan’s dealings with Chinese Communist Party.

Wu Jieh-min, a researcher at Taiwan’s Academia Sinica, also slammed Mr. Xi’s suggestion, saying heavy handedness from Beijing would only fuel greater public support for Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement and anti-China sentiment on Taiwan. “Hong Kong’s current struggle for genuine election shows China has no intention of ever carrying out the ‘one country, two systems’ model. Beijing has zero credibility in this regard, ” he said.

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