If all the Taiwanese who oppose the ‘one country, two systems’ formula or Beijing’s definition of ‘one China’ qualify for the title of ‘separatist,’ then a lot of people stand to be ‘decapitated’ after Taiwan is unified with China, if Chiu Yi is right.
Nearly 80 percent of Taiwanese reject the “one country, two systems” formula proposed by Beijing for unification while almost nine out of 10 want the continuation of the “status quo” in the Taiwan Strait, a recent poll released by the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) shows.
The poll, conducted by the reputable Election Study Center at National Chengchi University (NCCU) on behalf of the MAC, shows that only 10.4 percent regard “one county, two systems” as the correct formula for the unification of Taiwan with China, with another 10.5 percent expressing no opinion on the matter. Nearly 90 percent of respondents said they wanted the continuation of the “status quo” in the Taiwan Strait, while 83.9 percent rejected the use of force by China against Taiwan and 87.7 percent stated that Taiwan’s future and cross-Strait relations should be decided by Taiwan’s 23 million people.
Beijing maintains that the “one country, two systems” framework is the only option for unification and claims that under that system Taiwan’s way of life and freedoms would not be affected — a promise that developments in Hong Kong, which since 1997 has labored under the same formula, have proven to be hollow, what with the loss of its autonomy and rapidly eroding press, political and artistic freedoms. Besides “one country, two systems,” Beijing insists that Taiwan recognize the “one China” principle, which under Xi Jinping no longer permits the previous agreement to disagree on what is meant by “one China,” what under the Ma Ying-jeou administration was termed as “different interpretations.”
Thus, in the current environment, made explicit by Xi’s address to “Taiwan compatriots” on Jan. 2, the terms for unification are strictly “one country, two systems” and “one China” — the People’s Republic of China, with Taiwan existing as a mere province or special administrative region.
The MAC poll, which reflects longstanding opinion in Taiwan and the nearly universal refusal of Beijing’s non-negotiable conditions for “peaceful unification,” puts the lie to Beijing’s claim that only a small group of Taiwan separatists in the green camp are opposed to unification.
This shift, from a more “permissive” road to unification or laxer terms for unification, has narrowed the room for dialogue across the Taiwan Strait and put the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) in a difficult position with the Taiwanese public, as it can no longer argue that “different interpretations” is viable, nor can it claim that Taiwan would get a better offer than Hong Kong. Thus, after Jan. 2, a number of prominent KMT members, among them Chiang Wan-an, were forced to come out and state publicly their opposition to Xi’s formulation. Many of them have since gone silent, leaving the space for KMT politicians who are willing to echo Xi’s diktat.
The MAC poll, which reflects longstanding opinion in Taiwan and the nearly universal refusal of Beijing’s non-negotiable conditions for “peaceful unification,” puts the lie to Beijing’s claim that only a small group of Taiwan separatists in the green camp are opposed to unification, and that those would eventually meet the harsh judgment of history. Already there have been hints that Taiwan “separatists” would be detained following unification.
Chiu Yi, a former KMT legislator, went one step further during a talk at the The Cross-Strait (Lianjiang) Integration Development Exchange Conference (暨海峽兩岸（連江）融合發展交流會) Lianjiang County, Fujian Province, on March 21, where he stated that Taiwanese “separatists” who do not “recognize China” would stand a chance of being “decapitated” after unification/annexation. Whether he meant the movement or actual heads being lobbed off is anyone’s guess. Nor can we assume that Mr. Chiu, long known for his (to put it charitably) heated rhetoric, was speaking on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Still, what is more certain is the violence that is at the core of Beijing’s behavior and that of the unificationist movement, something that we have already seen in decades of “pacification” in territory the Chinese have occupied, from Tibet to Xinjiang.
To expect that the CCP would be more lenient when it comes to the Taiwanese, to resistance to its territorial ambitions, is naive at best. A lot more people would stand to be “decapitated” or locked away or sent to re-education camps should the Chinese ever occupy the island-nation, including a large number of people who have voted for the KMT over the years. In other words, the 80 percent or so who oppose “one country, two systems,” or the almost 90 percent who prefer the “status quo.” For as per Xi’s definition, all of them are “separatists.”
Let us hope that someone in the KMT will have sufficient wisdom to distance the party from such terrible remarks.
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