Recent statements (via Reuters) from the president of Taiwan has further set a defensive against increasing pressure from China, who have been seeking to fully control the island.
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said they will not accept a “one country, two systems” political move that Beijing has proposed, noting a similar proposal to unify Hong Kong under Beijing rule has failed.
“Hong Kong people have showed us that ‘one country, two systems’ is definitely not feasible,” Tsai said. “Under ‘one country, two systems’, the situation continues to deteriorate in Hong Kong. The credibility of ‘one country, two systems’ has been sullied by the government’s abuse of power.”
China has been claiming Taiwan as their territory, noting they will bring the island under control by force, if necessary. Taiwan maintains that they are an independent country, the Republic of China, remnants of which stem from the Chinese Civil War.
The debate over whether or not Taiwan is an independent nation comes from the same conflict, which subsided with the Republic of China fleeing to Taiwan after the Communist Party of China effectively won the civil war. No official peace treaty or armistice was ever signed, and the debate over whether the civil war ended still continues.
Tsai is seeking re-election in a vote on January 11th, while also pledging her New Year’s speech to focus on defending the independence of Taiwan. Furthermore, Tsai noted they will build the mechanisms to protect the freedom and democracy of their island nation, even while Beijing continues to mount pressure as they seek to overtake it.
Anti-Chinese and Beijing sentiments have been mounting in the past year or more, as Chinese pressure on Hong Kong came to a head with months upon months of anti-Beijing protests in the city-state.
Taiwan’s parliament recently passed an anti-infiltration law in hopes of fighting suspected or observed threats from China. Tsai noted the law will protect Taiwan’s democracy, while not damaging their economic dealings with the mainland industries.
While China has suspected Tsai and her party, the independence-seeking Democratic Progressive Party, of furthering their pursuit of formal independence from China. Beijing has threatened such a move with war. Tsai has denied seeking independence for Taiwan, and noted they would not disturb the status quo with Beijing.