Taiwan rejects Beijing's 'one country, two systems' unification formula

10/09/2021 08:51 PM
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The military marching band performs in front of the Presidential Office during a rehearsal for the Oct. 10 National Day celebrations in Taipei. CNA photo Oct. 7, 2021
The military marching band performs in front of the Presidential Office during a rehearsal for the Oct. 10 National Day celebrations in Taipei. CNA photo Oct. 7, 2021

Taipei, Oct. 9 (CNA) Taiwan is an independent state and Taiwanese oppose the "one country, two systems" political arrangement proposed by Beijing, Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang (張惇涵) said Saturday hours after China's leader Xi Jinping (習近平) reiterated his goal of unifying Taiwan during a speech.

"Mainstream Taiwanese society is clear -- reject 'one country, two systems' and defend our democratic and free way of life," Chang said in a statement.

"The Republic of China (Taiwan) is an independent and sovereign country and not part of the People's Republic of China," Chang said, adding that "the future of the nation is in the hands of Taiwanese."

His comments came as Xi said at a gathering marking the 110th anniversary of the 1911 Revolution in Beijing Saturday morning that China will insist on "peaceful unification" with Taiwan, the "one country, two systems" arrangement, the "1992 consensus" and the "one China" principle, which expresses the idea that Taiwan and China are both part of one country.

"One country, two systems" was proposed by Beijing as a way for Taiwan to be part of China while retaining its autonomy in several areas. 

The "1992 consensus" refers to a tacit understanding reached in 1992 between the then-Kuomintang (KMT) government of Taiwan and the Chinese government. Under the consensus, both sides of the strait acknowledge that there is only "one China," with each side free to interpret what that means.

Xi maintained that the Taiwan issue is China's internal affairs and that Beijing will not tolerate foreign interference.

Secessionists promoting Taiwan independence are the biggest obstacle for China's unification goal and a serious threat to the nation's rejuvenation, Xi claimed.

The Communist Party of China commemorates the 1911 Revolution Beijing Saturday. Photo: China News Service
The Communist Party of China commemorates the 1911 Revolution Beijing Saturday. Photo: China News Service

Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), the government agency that handles cross-Taiwan Strait affairs, said in a statement that Xi's remarks reflected Beijing's out-of-date policy toward Taiwan.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) lacks an understanding of the global situation and overlooks doubts and opposition in Taiwan, MAC said.

MAC also criticized the CCP for having commemorated the 1911 Revolution and paid tribute to Sun Yat-sen (孫中山), who led the revolution and served as the provisional president of the Republic of China (ROC) following the fall of the Qing Dynasty in 1912.

Sun and other revolutionists built the first republic in Asia, MAC said, adding that the CCP has distorted historical facts and remembered the 1911 Revolution's anniversary only as a way to claim the CCP's legitimacy in ruling China.

Two years after Sun died in 1925, a civil war started between the governing Kuomintang and the CCP. The war, which was temporarily put on hold during the Japanese invasion of China from 1937 to 1945, resumed after Japan's defeat.

The KMT eventually lost the civil war, resulting in the retreat of the ROC government and the KMT to Taiwan in 1949.

Meanwhile, the KMT, which is now Taiwan's main opposition party, said in a statement Saturday afternoon the party opposes Taiwan independence and the "one country, two systems" formula for Taiwan.

The KMT urged the Beijing authorities to recognize the existence of the ROC, respect the differences between Taiwan and China, and understand public opinion in Taiwan.

The party also expressed hope that the values that Sun had fought for for his country, such as freedom, democracy and rule of law, would be realized in China one day, adding that "democratic Taiwan today, free China tomorrow."

Taiwanese scholars observed that although Xi's remarks concerning Taiwan did not depart much from Beijing's current policy toward the island, he did emphasize his anti-Taiwan independence stance.

Chang Wu-ueh (張五岳), an associate professor at Tamkang University, told CNA Saturday that he did not see much difference between Xi's talk in the morning and his past comments regarding the Taiwan issue.

However, Chang noted that Xi appeared to have taken a tougher line on Taiwan independence, which was apparent from his speech Saturday as well as the one made on July 1 at the gathering celebrating the centennial of the CCP's establishment.

Similarly, Wang Hsin-hsien (王信賢), a professor at National Chengchi University, said Xi's remarks opposing Taiwan independence served as a message to Chinese at home and other people abroad.

Xi was trying to assert the legitimacy of the CCP's rule in China and the prosperity of the country under the party's leadership ahead of the 20th National Party Congress in autumn 2022, Wang noted.

Analysts have said that Xi is likely to be re-elected party chief of the CCP by the rubber-stamp congress.

(By Miao Zong-han, Lai Yu-chen and Teng Pei-ju)

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