Taipei, A former member of Hong Kong's Legislative Council Wednesday urged Taiwan to stick to democracy and unity in the face of increasing pressure from China.
"The 'one country, two systems' formula applied to Hong Kong has become a hell-like nightmare to the territory, and Taiwan's people, regardless of your political affiliation, must work together to counter China's threat," Raymond Wong Yuk-man said at a seminar sponsored by the Friends of Hong Kong and Macau Association.
The "one country, two systems" proposed by late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping with the promise of a high degree of autonomy has become a nightmare after being applied to Hong Kong, Wong said.
Any formula designed for Taiwan's future unification with China that lacks popular support in Taiwan will be impossible to be implemented in Taiwan, which is a full-blown and diverse democracy with freedom of free expression, he said.
As Taiwan's people are firmly opposed to China's "one country, two systems" scheme, Taiwan's political parties do not need to overreact to the pro-unification rhetoric voiced by Chinese President Xi Jinping or rehash the independence- unification dispute to a point that causes splits within Taiwan, he said.
Johnny Y.S. Lau, a veteran Hong Kong political critic, said after the July 1, 2003 protests -- the largest protest seen in Hong Kong since the 1997 handover to demand for democracy, China realized that it could not grant full autonomy to the territory, because it is an autocratic regime.
Even if Deng came back to life he would not be able to carry out his promise to grant Hong Kong a high degree of autonomy under the "one country, two systems" model, Lau said.
However, Taiwan needs to pay close attention to changes in Hong Kong and explore possible responses in similar situations, he said.
Faced with the U.S.-China trade war, it remains unclear whether China will seek to exert greater pressure on Taiwan or hold back, he said.
Source: Overseas Community Affairs Council