Tsai says Taiwan will never accept 'one country, two systems'

Tsai rejects China's offer to implement Hong Kong unification model in Taiwan

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President Tsai Ing-wen. 

President Tsai Ing-wen.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — In an address delivered on New Year's Day, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) rejected China's proposal to unify with Taiwan under the "one country, two systems" framework, the deterioration of which has led to much discord in Hong Kong.

In her speech on Wednesday (Jan. 1), Tsai said that over the past few years, Communist China has tried to used "diplomatic offensives, military coercion, interference, and infiltration" with the objective of "forcing Taiwan to compromise our sovereignty." Tsai pointed out that in a New Year's speech last year, China's Chairman Xi Jinping (習近平) had called for implementing the "one country, two systems" model for Taiwan.

She then stated that in the year since, the Taiwanese people have shown their support for her administration and that by refusing to submit, the county has shown the world that "Taiwan will never accept 'one country, two systems.'" Tsai asserted that one of the main flaws of the framework is that democracy and authoritarianism cannot coexist within the same country.

Tsai added that "Hong Kong's people have shown us that 'one country, two systems' is definitely not feasible." She reiterated the "four musts" mentioned in her previous New Year's talk that urged China to respect the democratic values of Taiwan.

She then emphasized the "four understandings" she had issued a few days before, including calling on Taiwanese to unite in standing up to China's suppression. She insisted that China has jeopardized the status quo of the Taiwan Strait, adding that Beijing is leveraging the so-called "1992 Consensus" to “hollow out” the island nation.

She warned against trading the country’s sovereignty for short-term economic benefits and called upon the public to stay vigilant against China’s all-out infiltration campaign. She also called on all Taiwanese people and political parties to form a consensus based on these understandings to create an "immense force that will allow the Republic of China [Taiwan] to stand tall in the international community."

The full video of Tsai's New Year's Day speech can be seen below: