Taiwanese-Americans Voice Strong Opposition To “One Country, Two Areas”
As an organization of Taiwanese-Americans we express our strong opposition to a statement by former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Wu Poh-hsiung, who suggested in a meeting with PRC president Hu Jin-tao on March 22nd 2012 that relations between Taiwan and the PRC would be dealt with under the “one country, two areas” heading. It was later confirmed that this proposal was authorized by Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou.
The concept of “one country, two areas” puts Taiwan on a slippery slope towards the “one country, two systems” concept of the PRC. This severely undermines Taiwan’s sovereignty and freedom to choose its own future. We, together with our friends and relatives in Taiwan, have worked hard for a free and democratic Taiwan, and do not want to see those achievements swept away by an authoritarian China.
“One country, two areas” also stands in stark contrast with reality: to the international community, “China” is synonymous with the People’s Republic of China. If the Ma government now agrees that Taiwan is an area under “one country” then it is implicitly saying that Taiwan is part of the PRC.
We firmly believe that Taiwan is a free and democratic country unto itself – an independent and autonomous nation with its own democratically elected government. Wu’s actions in Beijing dangerously undermine Taiwan’s already-shrinking international space.
The subsequent defense by the Ma government that “one country, two areas” is consistent with the “ROC constitution” is simply outlandish. Under that formulation the People’s Republic of China is considered an “area” of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s anachronistic “Republic of China.” No one believes that, least of all the government in Beijing.
The Ma government’s new formulation is also inconsistent with the views held by the vast majority of Taiwanese: A poll in early April 2012 by TVBS in Taiwan showed that only 19% of those polled agree with the “one country two areas” concept. Scholars and policy makers have long emphasized that the “one country, two systems” formula that is applied to Hong Kong is a complete non-starter when it comes to Taiwan.
As citizens who deeply value democracy, we also believe that the way the idea was raised was a basic violation of democratic principles. This occurred in a party-to-party forum between the CCP-KMT, two parties that are known for their disregard of democracy. Such a mechanism lacks any transparency, accountability or legislative oversight, and is thus contrary to the basic values for which we stand.
The future of Taiwan should be determined by the Taiwanese people themselves through democratic mechanisms, and not negotiated away over their heads in shady backroom deals.
Mark Kao PhD
President, Formosan Association for Public Affairs