The Student News Site of Taipei American School




Taiwanese voters send Beijing their most determined rejection yet after watching reckless violence in Hong Kong


President Tsai Ing-wen’s victory in the 2020 Taiwan presidential election on Jan. 12 sent a resolute message to China that Taiwan will not fall subject its authoritative regime despite its growing threats to dominate Taiwan. 
Around this time last year, Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a threatening message across the straits to Taiwan, that it “must and will be” reunited with China. 
While Taiwan is self-governed and de facto independent, it has never formally declared independence from the mainland, where it is considered to be a breakaway province.
However, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen immediately responded with the complete rejection of reunification with China: “I want to reiterate that Taiwan will never accept ‘one country, two systems’”. 
The 2019 protests in Hong Kong allowed Tsai to argue that “one country, two systems” is clearly defective. While mainland China originally used Hong Kong as a model for the incorporation of Taiwan by mainland China, more than 2,600 injuries caused by Xi’s blindly violent means to suppress pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong rather serves as a perfect example of the destructive consequences of the political model previously proposed by him. 
For the people of Taiwan, it is a matter of course that Taiwan’s integration with the mainland would jeopardize civil liberties and democratic rights, not to mention the violence that would be indiscriminately used by Beijing to maintain order. 
Recently, Xi has stepped up his efforts to demolish Taiwan’s de facto independence through militaristic threats and propaganda. The communist government has paid Taiwan-based media sources such as China Times and Commercial Times to publish articles presented as straight news for positive coverage: two feature stories alone earned the publications $30,000 NT, according to the Reuters News Agency. 
But far from cowing the Taiwanese into submission, such pressure tactics have only instilled fear and hostility against China in Taiwan as they allowed the Taiwanese to visualize a Communist Chinese rule in Taiwan. “The day that China rules Taiwan will be the end of [peace in] Taiwan” said Chen Li-wei, a partisan of the Democratic Progressive Party, as she gestured her hand in deep irritation. 
As voters like Ms. Chen apprehensively kept up to date with the unrestrained measures taken by China in Hong Kong and Taiwan, Tsai established the defense of her country’s sovereignty and democracy at the very center of her presidential campaign. She led a strategic campaign by offering the public a sense of peace and reassurance in striking contrast to the repression in mainland China. 
Last week, after the last set of peaceful rallies of Tsai and Han Kuo-yu, her pro-China opponent, Taiwanese voters sent Beijing their most assertive response yet by delivering Tsai a decisive victory in the presidential election. 
Tsai’s victory represents the country’s nationalistic response to China and demonstrates the Taiwanese willpower to resist Xi for as long as they can. Taiwan has also verified the power of fair democracy detached from mainland China, one that Hong Kong failed to pursue as a result of violent oppression by the Chinese police. 
The Taiwanese elaborate democratic system, once again represented by President Tsai, will continue to serve as the single most difficult obstacle for Xi to overcome to achieve his dream of reunifying Taiwan and China.

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