In a speech on Jan. 2 marking the 40th anniversary of China’s 1979 “Message to Compatriots in Taiwan,” Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) said that he wants to “explore a Taiwanese version of one country, two systems.”
As a Hong Konger, I am more familiar with the “one country, two systems” policy than anyone, and it could even be said that it has made an indelible impression on me.
In case the “one country, two systems” model is going to be implemented in Taiwan, it would be a good idea to listen to the opinions of those who have already been through this, and then sit down with Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials to engage in some serious “exploration” of the changes society would go through.
Here are a few issues that would be worth exploring:
First, would there also be a basic law for Taiwan, like the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, that would replace the Republic of China (ROC) Constitution and a guarantee that Taiwan would be left unchanged for 50 years?
Second, would there be “gradual and progressive” elections in Taiwan and would the Legislative Yuan, just like Hong Kong’s Legislative Council, be based on “functional constituencies” giving permanent power and influence to minority groups?
Third, would candidates for a chief executive of Taiwan be screened and appointed by the CCP?
Fourth, would the transfer of government power in Taiwan also be simply a “change of flag, with everything else to remain unchanged”?
Fifth, would freedom of speech continue to include the right to utter the words “Taiwanese independence” and would book publishers be kidnapped?
Sixth, would people who advocate Taiwanese independence be deprived of their right to contest elections and organize demonstrations?
Seventh, would lawmakers be thrown out by the speaker if they protest during a legislative session?
Eighth, would Taiwan enact a new national security law, a new national flag law and a new national anthem law?
Ninth, when a few years have passed, would Taiwanese suddenly be told by Chinese leadership that “one country” overrides “two systems”?
Tenth, would Taiwanese be warned by the CCP leadership after a few years that your “two systems” could be canceled at any time?
Eleventh, would the national coffers be raided, with Taiwan forced to participate in the massive money giveaway that is the Belt and Road Initiative?
Twelfth, would Taiwan be ordered to squander taxpayers’ hard-earned money on white elephant projects, such as a bridge connecting Xiamen, Kinmen and Taipei — a project that would be extremely costly to build and maintain, and out of proportion to its usefulness?
Thirteenth, would Taiwan’s friends among US and Japanese politicians continue to have free access to Taiwan?
If these questions were explored with CCP officials, they would not hesitate to guarantee that none of these things would come to pass. As this is the case, there really is no need to explore these things. Right?
Kot Chun is a retired teacher and author in Hong Kong.
Translated by Lin Lee-kai
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