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Faced With Tough Words From China, Taiwan Rallies Around Its Leader

In China, Ma Xiaoguang, a spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office, said Wednesday that the 1992 Consensus and the “one country, two systems” model were not the same thing. “The leadership of the D.P.P. has mixed up these two purposefully to misguide the Taiwanese people,” Mr. Ma said, referring to Ms. Tsai’s party.

Zhu Songling, director of the Institute of Taiwan Studies at Beijing Union University, said that a “one country, two systems” arrangement for Taiwan would not have to replicate the one in Hong Kong.

“The ‘two systems’ for Taiwan can be negotiated,” Professor Zhu said. “How do you know that ‘one country, two systems’ does not suit Taiwan even before starting a negotiation?”

But Ms. Tsai’s rejection of “one country, two systems” appears to have support in Taiwan that stretches across party lines. The Kuomintang’s chairman, Wu Den-yih, said in a speech last week to party members that the 1992 Consensus was “unrelated” to the “one country, two systems” model proposed by Mr. Xi.

Wayne Chiang, a Kuomintang legislator whose great-grandfather, Chiang Kai-shek, was the longtime president of the Republic of China, praised Ms. Tsai’s emphasis on the need for Beijing to respect Taiwan’s democracy and freedom. For that, Mr. Chiang was criticized by fellow members of the party and its supporters.

Mr. Chiang also dismissed Mr. Xi’s proposal. “Taiwan is not Hong Kong,” he told reporters last week. “The majority of Taiwanese people also find it impossible to accept ‘one country, two systems.’”

Another Kuomintang legislator, Jason Hsu, went even further, saying in an interview that Mr. Xi’s speech showed that the 1992 Consensus was no longer viable for his party as an approach to relations with China and that the Kuomintang needed to think of a new strategy.

Source: NYT > World

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