Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Hong Kong = Taiwan's Future???

China's foot-dragging on giving Hong Kong democracy provides a good indication of what Taiwan can expect if it is annexed by China.

"But just as in any country and any region democratic development is a gradual historical process, Hong Kong's democratic development must also be pushed forward in a stable, sure-handed and systematic way," state media quoted Hu as saying.

Despite mass protests and widespread calls for democracy in Hong Kong, China has been unwilling to let the territory decide for itself when it can elect top leaders.

Except, of course, that we in Taiwan already have democracy. This raises a very interesting issue: if the island is annexed by Beijing, how can China exist half-free and half-slave? China will either be required to crush the island's democracy -- which might have grave international and internal repercussions -- or else it will have to live with "one country, two systems." And when ordinary Chinese visit Taiwan and see how much different things are here than there...

Be careful what you wish for, eh? Perhaps our democracy here is a better insurance against annexation than we think. Perhaps that is why China fulminates against it, and exhorts the local pro-China parties to take steps to curtail it. Because not only does every democratic election establish Taiwan as an independent state, but the deeper democracy entrenches, the thornier the problem it presents for the occupation planning.


Anonymous said...

Annexation and occupation is so 1990s. Nobody is expecting missile and soldier to suddenly raining down on taiwan while the population poses a "heroic defiance" against the occupation.

"Occupation planning"?? Hello!? If this is all people can think of the "China Challenge" that Taiwan faces than we are truely a "frog living in the bottom of the well". In the world today China represent the force of Globalization and that's the strongest card China plays against Taiwan. Today Taiwan's poor attempt at "diversifying" away or "ignoring" China boomerangs and hurts Taiwan only. Without greater diplomat flexibility and wisdom Taiwan has been shut off from various regional economic groupings vital to the future of economy.

On the diplomatic front China has successfully setup Taiwan as a "trouble-maker" that's disturbing the "status quo", causing US and Australia to express dismay at Taiwan.

Instead of thinking about how Taiwan is going to resist Chinese weapons and soldiers etc it is more urgent to think and discuss a truely viable policy vis a vis China so Taiwan is not further hamstrung economically. Looking into the crystal ball, one can see Taiwan's future as a economically successfuly and truely autonomous state ironically means aligning convergent interests with China.

Michael Turton said...

I agree totally! Many fo us have blogged on your points, including me. I was merely remarking on one small aspect of democracy.

Michael Turton said...

And occupation has to planned for whether Taiwan is annexed by force or intimidation or sellout. Call it waht you like, China will have to enforce its will here....

Anonymous said...

To anonymous,

Far from it Taiwan is not regarded as a "trouble-maker" - the international community was royally pissed off at China for passing the Anti-secession Act. For one thing it caused the EU to cancel negotiations over ending the China-EU arms embargo - now it looks like it won't be lifted any time soon.

Plus the Taiwan economy is still growing at over 4% a year.

Great article, really enjoyed it!

Anonymous said...

Or the more incontrovertible the decision when Taiwan votes for unification in an open and free exercise of democratic rights.

Don't forget that the majority of Taiwan does NOT support independence, and likely never will. :)

JingYuan said...

Hey, I'm just a passer-by and read some of your intriguing passages. I just wanna express my gratitude to you because you seemed to be very interested in Taiwan. It's a great honor to know that someone love my country which I'm proud of.