By Choekyi Lhamo
DHARAMSHALA, May 21: Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen said that the country cannot accept China’s proposal for ‘one country, two systems’ during her speech for her second and the final term in office on Wednesday. After the inauguration, the president called for both sides to find a way to co-exist, “Both sides have a duty to find a way to coexist over the long term and prevent the intensification of antagonism and differences.”
The statement quickly drew condemnation from China. China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said that it would strictly stick to the ‘one country, two systems’ and leave no possibility for “Taiwan independence separatist activities”. Tsai’s landslide presidential victory under her Democratic Progressive Party in January said that it would stand up to China whenever the communist party claims Taiwan as its own. “Here, I want to reiterate the words ‘peace, parity, democracy, and dialogue’. We will not accept the Beijing authorities’ use of ‘one country, two systems’ to downgrade Taiwan and undermine the cross-strait status quo. We stand fast by this principle,” Tsai said.
She asserted the need for dialogue and possible co-existence, adding that the relation between the two had reached a historical turning point. “Both sides have a duty to find a way to coexist over the long term and prevent the intensification of antagonism and differences,” she said. China in its response said that the reunification of Taiwan to motherland China was a “historical inevitability”.
The Party’s mouthpiece Global Times editorial quoted a Chinese spokesperson saying that Tsai’s party “gangs up with foreign powers to hinder peace of Taiwan Straits and use (the) pandemic to attain separatist goals.” It claimed that these forces have severely damaged the peace and stability of the region.
Taiwan has recently accused China of keeping Taiwan out of the World Health Organization (WHO). The president said that Taiwan will keep fighting to partake in international organizations, noting the state’s strong ties with “United States, Japan, Europe, and other like-minded countries”. China has used the ‘one country, two systems’ policy in the former British colony of Hong Kong, but has also offered the same framework to Taiwan but all major influential Taiwanese parties have rejected the proposal.