President Tsai challenges Beijing by rejecting the “one country, two systems” principle

Taiwan is willing to dialogue with China but cannot accept the political principle “one country, two systems” that Beijing wanted, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen said when she was inaugurated for a second term. China “will never tolerate” a solution from Taiwan, Beijing responded immediately.

Do the relations between Taipei and Beijing reach a historic turning point? This was strongly implied by Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen on Wednesday, May 20, during her inaugural speech.

“I want to repeat the words ‘peace, parity, democracy and dialogue’. We will not accept that the Beijing authorities are using the” one country, two systems “principle to downgrade Taiwan and damage the status quo across the strait,” one Taiwanese leader warned citing the principle governing the restoration of Hong Kong and Macao to China.

Re-elected in January with 8.2 million votes, an unmatched score since the first presidential election in 1996, Tsai asked “the two sides to find a way to co-exist in the long term”. Tensions with China and the challenge of Beijing’s sovereignty in Hong Kong were at the heart of the presidential election.

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Beijing ready to “defend national sovereignty”

China “will never tolerate” a solution from Taiwan, Beijing responded after President Tsai Ing-Wen’s speech. “We have unmatched determination, complete confidence and all the capabilities to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” said Taiwanese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Xiaoguang.

“We will never tolerate any separate act,” he said, according to remarks reported by the official China New News Agency.

China intends to lead Taiwan into its position, which it regards as a redistributed province, by accepting the principle of “one country, two systems” governing its relations with Hong Kong. Beijing has intensified military exercises near the island since Tsai’s re-election.

The Taiwanese president said on Wednesday that Taipei has made the greatest efforts to maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, which separates the island from China.

“We will continue these efforts and we are ready to open a dialogue with China and contribute more to regional security,” she said.

With AFP and Reuters