Wed, Jan 09, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Xi’s words have no market in Taiwan: ex-AIT head

Staff Writer, with CNA, WASHINGTON

Former American Institute in Taiwan chairman Richard Bush speaks in Washington on April 25 last year.

Photo: CNA

The “one country, two systems” formula proposed by China has no market in Taiwan as a basis for resolving cross-strait differences, former American Institute in Taiwan chairman Richard Bush said on Monday.

“Most Taiwan people understand that Taiwan’s economy is tied to China’s (40 percent of Taiwan exports go there). They don’t like instability, whatever the cause. They don’t want a military conflict,” Bush wrote in one of two articles posted on Monday on the Brookings Institution Web site.

“They do want a genuine say over their destiny, and for now 1C2S has no market on Taiwan as a basis for resolving differences with China,” he wrote, referring to the “one country, two systems” formula.

“What has happened in Hong Kong over the last five years only reinforces Taiwan skepticism,” Bush wrote in the article commenting on Chinese President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) address on Beijing’s policy of unification with Taiwan to mark the 40th anniversary on Wednesday last week of the Chinese government’s 1979 “Message to Compatriots in Taiwan.”

Xi’s speech ignored the impact of popular feelings in democratic Taiwan on the quest for unification, Bush said.

Xi’s statement that “there is national identification between the people on the two sides of the [Taiwan] Strait” ignores what polls have shown about the weakness of Chinese identity in Taiwan, Bush added.

“He does not seem aware that Taiwan citizens don’t want to risk their democratic system, which they value despite its flaws, for a 1C2S structure that is partially democratic at best,” Bush wrote.

“China’s recent meddling in Taiwan’s political process should alert Taiwan leaders and the public of the need to better insulate their democracy from outside interference. The United States should develop ways to help them do that,” Bush added.

In the other post, Bush mentioned Xi’s incorporation of unification into his signature theme — the “great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.”

Xi reiterated the 1979 statement in which Beijing called for unification and an end to military confrontation, but he did not set an explicit deadline for unification, Bush said.

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