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Taiwan’s Tsai outs self as fully anti-China

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen (photo by AFP)

Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen has rejected China’s “one country, two systems” model for the self-ruled island, claiming that that arrangement has affected regional stability.

“China is still threatening to impose its ‘one country, two systems’ model for Taiwan. Their diplomatic offensives and military coercion pose a serious challenge to regional stability and peace,” Tsai said in a speech on Thursday.

“When freedom and democracy are challenged, and when the Republic of China’s existence and development are threatened, we must stand up and defend ourselves,” she said, referring to Taiwan by its self-designated name.

“The overwhelming consensus among Taiwan’s 23 million people is our rejection of ‘one country, two systems,’ regardless of party affiliation or political position,” she said.

Tsai also said the months-long anti-government protests in Hong Kong show the failure of China’s “one country, two systems” model, which she said had pushed the city to “the edge of disorder.”

“The US-China trade dispute continues. And not far from Taiwan, Hong Kong is on the verge of chaos due to the failure of ‘one country, two systems,’” she said.

Hong Kong has been governed under a “one-country, two-system” model since the city — a former British colony — was returned to China in 1997.

Since June, Hong Kong has been beset by unrest over a contentious extradition bill that would have allowed the extradition of suspects to mainland courts for trial. The bill has since been fully withdrawn, but the protests have continued.

Tsai’s speech came less than 100 days before general elections, in which she will seek a second term.

Beijing’s relations with Taipei have particularly been strained since Tsai came to power in 2016. She has strong anti-China inclinations and refuses to acknowledge that both sides are part of “one China.”

China claims sovereignty over Taiwan, nevertheless.

And almost all world countries, including the United States, recognize that sovereignty.

China has pursued reunification with Taiwan ever since the island broke away from the mainland during a civil war in 1949.

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