Washington Times on November 6, 2014, published an article by Miles Yu on the the future of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy demonstrations remaining unclear, but one unmistakable consequence is Taiwan’s open rejection of China’s unification plan.
In his boldest response yet to Hong Kong’s protests, Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou flatly rejected China’s plan to annex Taiwan via Beijing’s “one country, two systems” solution. Excerpts below:
“The mainland government has proposed the ‘one country, two systems’ solution; Taiwan cannot accept it,” Mr. Ma told American and Scandinavian journalists.
China’s reception of Hong Kong in 1997 and Macau in 1999 was based on the “one country, two systems” promise, but Taiwan has never bought into the scheme.
It has been widely understood that how well Beijing keeps its “one country, two systems” promise in Hong Kong will determine how far Taiwan will fall for Beijing’s “unification” plan.
While the core of Hong Kong’s “capitalist system” (press freedoms, judicial independence, rule of law, etc.) is being eroded by Chinese interference, what has shattered Taiwan’s confidence inBeijing’s sincerity is China’s hard-line approach to Hong Kong’s student-led, pro-democracy protests.
The protests emboldened Mr. Ma, usually known for timidity in addressing Beijing, to speak out in support of Hong Kong’s demand for democracy.
“We completely understand and support the Hong Kong people’s appeals for true universal suffrage because freedom and democracy have always been Taiwan’s core values,” he said Sept. 30 at the start of Hong Kong’s turmoil.
Since then, Mr. Ma seems to have found his cause celebre.
Celebrating Taiwan’s National Day on Oct. 10, he reiterated support for Hong Kong protesters and chastised Beijing’s unification policies. Three weeks later, Mr. Ma took his message to The New York Times to stress Taiwan’s solidarity with the protesters, followed by his major denouncement of the “one country” scheme on Monday.
Comment: The statements of President Ma are welcome. The pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong have proven that there is growing resistance on the mainland to the heavy hand of the Peking regime.