Taipei, Oct 10: Embattled Taiwan’s leader Tsai Ing-wen on Thursday dismissed a China’s call for peaceful reunification between the mainland and island under its “one country, two systems” mechanism, accusing Beijing of violent Hong Kong protests and said such a deal had set Hong Kong “on the edge of disorder”.
Tsai, delivering a national speech, also pledged to secure Taiwan’s sovereignty and said her administration would prevent its democracy and freedom as China ramps up the pressure and military presence on the self-ruled territory.
Tsai, facing criticism of her administrative policy towards Beijing ahead of a presidential election in January, termed China’s “one country, two systems” mechanism as a failure.
“China is still threatening to impose its ‘one country, two systems’ model for Taiwan. Their diplomatic offensives and military coercion pose a serious challenge to regional stability and peace,” she said.
“When freedom and democracy are challenged, and when the Republic of China’s existence and development are threatened, we must stand up and defend ourselves,” she added.
The Taiwanese president said regardless of political position or party affiliation, the overwhelming consensus among the territory’s 23 million people is their rejection of ‘one country, two systems’.
China’s security forces on Sunday issued a warning to the anti-government protesters in Hong Kong, during the first interaction since protests erupted in the territory four months ago against a controversial extradition bill that would allow suspects in the city to be sent to mainland China for court prosecution.
This was the first time when Hong Kong protesters met with China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) garrison in Kowloon district, when the force cautioned anti-government protesters that they could detain them for targeting its personnel and barrack walls with laser lights.
On Friday, Lam announced the mask ban at an afternoon media conference, banning Hong Kong protesters from wearing masks while demonstrating in the city against a controversial extradition bill that would allow suspects in the territory to be sent to mainland China.