Hong Kong confirms One Country, Two Systems inapplicable to Taiwan
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
September 8, 2014
Summary: We hope the impasse over universal suffrage in Hong Kong can be broken
by means of a "five-step program," so as not to crash and burn. It would
be a shame to destroy the political legacy of Deng Xiaoping's "one
country, two systems." We hope that the Beijing authorities will "free
their minds and acknowledge reality." We hope they will realize that Hong
Kong-style "one country, two systems" cannot be implemented on Taiwan,
and that the two sides should be thinking of a new "big roof concept of
Full Text Below:
"One Country, Two Systems" was Beijing's original plan for dealing with the Taiwan region of the ROC. Instead, it was first implemented in Hong Kong. That year, just before Hong Kong retrocession, Jiang Zemin said that the implementation of "one country, two systems" in Hong Kong, was for Taipei's benefit. Its purpose was "to provide an example for the reunification of the motherland." Today the Hong Kong experience has proven that "one country, two systems" cannot be applied to the Taiwan Region of the ROC.
Hong Kong's attempt to elect its Chief Executive by means of universal suffrage has reached a bottleneck. The Republic of China is about to hold its sixth direct presidential election. Could the public on Taiwan ever accept a list of candidates nominated by a "Nomination Committee?" Could they ever accept candidates not nominated by political parties or by petition? Could they ever accept chief executive elections in place of presidential elections? Impossible.
If Beijing wants Taipei to substitute chief executive elections for presidential elections, it can do so in two ways. One. It can overrun Taiwan by means of military force. Two. It can apply economic and diplomatic sanctions to bring down the ROC government. But if it resorts to either of these methods to deal with a free and democratic Republic of China government, it will become an enemy of world civilization and a pariah in the international community. It will face a problem of governance that is insoluble. Beijing could resort to force or apply economic and diplomatic sanctions, and force Taipei into submission. It is feasible. It has the power. But doing so would create a irremediable catastrophe. It would create a dilemma difficult to resolve both within and without. Therefore it is not a sensible option.
Hong Kong's "one country two systems" was intended as "an example for Taiwan." Yet Beijing has adopted a hardline attitude, provoking outrage among the public in Hong Kong. It has chiled the hearts of the public on Taiwan. Who would be willing to accept such a "one country?" Expecting the public on Taiwan to accept chief executive elections in place of presidential elections is increasingly unthinkable.
Hong Kong is not Wukan Village. Wukan Village was surrounded by a dictatorial regime. Hong Kong has been a cosmopolitan city for centuries. It has a civil society with diversity of thought. Wukan Village finds itself under "one country, one system." Hong Kong has been given a political commitment of "one country, two systems." The election of Hong Kong's Chief Executive by means of universal suffrage now appears to have reached a bottleneck. This may not have been Deng Xiaoping's original intent. It may be the result of his successors attempting to make names for themselves. The failure of the election of the Chief Executive by means of universal suffrage, is regarded as a failure of "one country, two systems." It has provoked doubts about Hong Kong's political stability.
The Taiwan Region of the ROC is not Hong Kong. As mentioned earlier, Hong Kong is fighting for genuine universal suffrage in the election of the Chief Executive. The ROC government will be holding its sixth presidential election. Hong Kong is under the sovereignty of the People's Republic of China. But the Republic of China is a sovereign and independent government. Otherwise, how could it be holding its sixth presidential election? Hong Kong's dispute with Beijing is over civil rights and jurisdiction. Taipei's dispute with Beijing, conversely, is over sovereignty.
The controversy in Hong Kong is over the definition of "patriotism and love of Hong Kong." Beijing can charge people with sedition and treason. But it should not create a "Nomination Committee" to screen candidates for "patriotism and love of Hong Kong." Suppose Taipei had implemented "one country, two systems?" Would a "Nomination Committee" hold candidates to "patriotism and love of Taiwan?" The public on Taiwan would then be deprived of the right to "love the Republic of China." Any criticisms of the government of the People's Republic of China would be considered "unpatriotic and deficient in love for Taiwan." Can anyone imagine how chaotic Taiwan would be under such a situation? Moreover, Taipei is currently "decriminalizing Taiwan independence." It is relying on the subtle choice between the Republic of China and the People's Republic of China to mollify public opinion and cope with Taiwan independence. But if "one country, two systems" eliminated the ROC, Taiwan independence would have to deal directly with the People's Republic of China. This would make the "patriotism and love for Taiwan" controversy even more complicated.
"One country, two systems" has hit the wall in Hong Kong. It has proved that "one country, two systems" cannot be applied to the Taiwan Region of the ROC. No matter what the global situation might be, and no matter how disputatious cross-Strait relations might be, Taiwan has the ROC and direct presidential elections. It could never accept a "Nomination Committee" vetting candidates for a "chief executive." Cross-strait issues cannot be solved by means of force. They require management. The Republic of China and the People's Republic of China must consider solutions that do not involve a "dog eat dog," zero sum game approach.
Beijing may find it difficult to give up its "peaceful reunification, one country, two systems" plan. But reunification must preserve the Republic of China. "One country" must include the Republic of China. In other words, the ROC and the PRC should consider a "big roof concept of China," in which the two coexist side by side. In June of this year Raymond Burghardt and Sun Yafu met for second track talks in New York. They said that the "one country" in "one country two systems" should be redefined to include the Republic of China. Beijing has kept its promise that under "one country, two systems," "horses will continue to race, people will continue to dance." But the Taiwan Region of the ROC holds presidential elections. This is the fundamental issue.
We hope the impasse over universal suffrage in Hong Kong can be broken by means of a "five-step program," so as not to crash and burn. It would be a shame to destroy the political legacy of Deng Xiaoping's "one country, two systems." We hope that the Beijing authorities will "free their minds and acknowledge reality." We hope they will realize that Hong Kong-style "one country, two systems" cannot be implemented on Taiwan, and that the two sides should be thinking of a new "big roof concept of China" framework.
2014.09.08 02:20 am