tirsdag 14. januar 2020

Taiwan has slipped through China's fingers, but will Beijing ever admit it?

Speaking in 1995, a hundred years after Japan's seizure of Taiwan, then Chinese President Jiang Zemin said it was the "sacred mission and lofty goal of the entire Chinese people" to see the unification of the island with mainland China.

In Hong Kong two years later, Jiang oversaw the implementation of the model he said would achieve just that, "the great concept of 'one country, two systems'" -- a process whereby the city would continue to maintain its distinct political and legal systems, while becoming part of a unified China. On Saturday, Taiwan voted overwhelmingly to reject that model, reelecting President Tsai Ing-wen in a landslide. The campaign was dominated by fears of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and a desire not to follow the path of Hong Kong -- where "one country, two systems" looks shakier than ever in the wake of sometimes violent anti-government unrest.

Responding to Tsai's victory, a spokesman for China's Foreign Ministry said that "regardless of what happens in Taiwan, the basic facts won't change: there is only one China in the world and Taiwan is part of China."