On Jan. 11 the voices of 8.17 million voters who rose up in favor of democracy in Taiwan placed the leader of the Democratic Progressive Party at the helm for a second term, leaving a clear message for the Chinese communist regime that for the time being there will be no political reunification, rejecting the Chinese slogan of “one country, two systems.”
After the election results, Tsai Ing Wen declared in her first interview with the BBC that Taiwan is already an “independent country,” implying that the extent of the Chinese communist regime’s repressive policies will continue to be disregarded in the country.
“We have a separate identity and we are a country of our own. We deserve respect from China,” Tsai said.
After Taiwan held elections that marked a new stage of independence and democracy, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi sent a warning message declaring, “Those who split the country will be doomed to leave a stink for 10,000 years,” referring to a well-known phrase to point out the “infamous.”
In an interview with Newsweek, Stanley Kao, head of Taipei’s Office of Economic and Cultural Representation in Washington, said he hoped the United States would maintain its historic support for Taiwanese independence from an increasingly authoritarian Chinese regime.
“China should engage in serious reflection about the Taiwan people’s expectations as expressed by the election results,” Kao said.
“Through these elections, the Taiwanese citizens, who dislike being threatened or undermined all the time, are sending a loud and clear message. With a successful democratic system and a decent economy, we deserve respect from China,” he added.
Regarding relations with China, Kao said that the Taiwanese government has always been firm on sovereignty and security, noting that there has always been a willingness to have “healthy” exchanges with China.
But in the same vein, he stressed that Beijing’s proposal of “one country, two systems” is completely unacceptable.
“In the face of China’s unmasked intention and creeping behavior to unilaterally change the cross-Strait status quo, Taiwan has had no choice but to continue consolidating our mechanisms for democracy and establishing sufficient defense capabilities,” Kao said.
The Taiwanese diplomat also said that in contrast to “the ruthless rule and repression of a single party in Beijing,” Taiwan managed to consolidate its democratic practices, overcoming “diplomatic repression, disinformation, infiltration, and economic coercion” by the Chinese regime.
Kao said that in the face of the problems that arose in the last local elections in 2018, in terms of false news and rumors, systems were implemented to increase the capacity to clarify and implement laws to prosecute those responsible involved in disinformation.
In that vein, Kao said the kind of pressure that Taiwan is exerting on China “is a beacon of hope for those oppressed people in Hong Kong and Xinjiang.
He also pointed to millions of underground Christians who have been repressed by the government, especially Falun Dafa practitioners, who have been persecuted relentlessly since 1999 for refusing to renounce their faith.
Referring to the situation in Hong Kong, the diplomat said: “Hong Kong’s experience under the ‘One country, two systems’ model has shown the world that authoritarianism and democracy cannot coexist.
“The so-called One Country, Two Systems, the allegedly magic formula promised and practiced in Hong Kong, has been proven wrong, a total failure, and a flat-out lie. It will never be an option for Taiwan,” he added.
Meanwhile, U.S. Republican Party Sen. Rick Scott went so far as to warn that the elections to be held in Taiwan were “vital” in curbing the “oppressive” influence of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on the Hong Kong protesters.
The retweet that Scott made public on Jan. 6 was accompanied by a Reuters article indicating that the elections were key and decisive for those Hong Kong demonstrators who were seriously repressed by the authorities, to escape to Taiwan and have guarantees.
“We are very concerned about the erosion of freedom and democracy in Hong Kong. The massive street protests in Hong Kong have not only made the Taiwanese cherish their existing democratic system and way of life even more, but also have made it clear to them that the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ model is not viable,” Kao said.
Regarding the support Taiwan has received from the United States, the diplomat said that it is thanks to the efforts of the U.S. government that Taiwan can now be called a democracy, noting that it is a vital partner in responding to common challenges and threats.
He also emphasized the importance of fostering strategic and economic cooperation ties through the early negotiation of a bilateral trade agreement. “A strong and enduring U.S.-Taiwan partnership will be a concrete assurance of a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the diplomat added.