President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday in her Double Ten National Day address rejected the “one country, two systems” model proposed by Beijing as the future of cross-strait relations, while highlighting freedom, democracy and sovereignty.
“The overwhelming consensus among Taiwan’s 23 million people is our rejection of ‘one country, two systems,’ regardless of party affiliation or political position,” Tsai said at the ceremony in front of the Presidential Office Building in Taipei.
There would be no space for the existence of the Republic of China (ROC) if that framework were to be imposed on Taiwan, Tsai said, citing the violence in Hong Kong as an example.
Photo: Chiang Ying-ying, AP
As Taiwan’s president, standing up to protect the nation’s sovereignty is not a provocation to China, but a fundamental responsibility, she said, urging the public to stand with her in defending freedom and democracy.
Tsai said the term “Republic of China (Taiwan)” is an overwhelming consensus of Taiwanese society and not the exclusive property of any particular political party.
Touting her political achievements over the past three years, Tsai then outlined her goals, which are to unite people under the flags of freedom and democracy to defend sovereignty; to boost the nations’s economic power and national strength; and to overcome challenges and make the nation confident and proud of itself on the global stage.
Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) in his master-of-ceremonies address said that no totalitarian nation can stop free and democratic Taiwan from establishing new friendships, even though the nation’s diplomacy has been maliciously undermined.
Taiwanese pride could best be embodied by a “free spirit;” human rights are the shared belief of Taiwanese; and a well-developed democratic system has given Taiwanese strength, he said.
On the foundations of democracy, freedom and human rights, the nation has attained steady economic growth, created a wholesome social climate and won high acclaim for its healthcare system, he said, adding that the nation has also befriended many like-minded nations.
In a sense, as people make efforts to safeguard democracy, democracy is safeguarding them, Su said.
During his more than three years in office he has received 107 groups of lawmakers from other nations and they all expressed amazement at Taiwan’s democracy, Su said.
Although Taiwan faces many challenges in the international community, and its diplomacy has been maliciously compromised, freedom would ultimately prevail, he said.
The nation has been through colonialism and authoritarianism, but today it embraces democracy and freedom, and that means it is embraced by the rest of the world, he said, attributing this to the suffering, diligence and efforts of all Taiwanese.
Su expressed the hope that Taiwan’s virtues and progressiveness would be seen by the world; that the nation would forever stand unwavering in the Pacific no matter how great its future challenges are; and that future generations enjoy the freedoms enjoyed today and they are able to decide their own future.
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