TAIWAN: On the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to Chinese administration, Taiwan Premier Su Tseng-chang declared that freedom in the city had “vanished” and that China had failed to live up to its pledges of 50 years without change.
John Lee, a former Hong Kong security head, is being sworn in as Hong Kong’s new leader by Chinese President Xi Jinping, who has been sanctioned by the United States for his work on a national security law in the territory.
As with Hong Kong and Macau, the government of Chinese-claimed Taiwan has repeatedly rejected Beijing’s offer of One Country, Two Systems to administer the island.
When he spoke to the media in Taipei, Su reaffirmed his promise that Hong Kong’s life would go on as normal following the handover.
“It’s important to remember that we also realize that we must hold fast to Taiwan’s sovereignty… freedom and democracy,” Su said. It appears that China’s so-called “One Country, Two Systems” policy has failed miserably.
Hong Kong’s crackdown on anti-government protesters and subsequent implementation of the severe national security bill have been roundly criticized in democratic Taiwan as well. Government officials in both Beijing and Hong Kong claim that the measure was vital to bring the city back to peace.
A formula known as One Country, Two Systems was devised by the British to surrender Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty on July 1, 1997, under which the territory retains a degree of autonomy that is unmatched in mainland China.
There are many who accuse the government of trampling on those rights that Beijing and Hong Kong oppose.
In order to force Taiwan to acknowledge Chinese sovereignty, China has been increasing its military and political pressure. According to the Taiwanese administration, the destiny of the island can only be decided by its citizens.
There were more police than party supporters at a small rally in Taipei later in the day to commemorate Taiwan’s Chinese Unification Promotion Party’s 50th anniversary.
After less than an hour, they had scattered.