Why isn't Taiwan helping Hong Kong
Elections in Taiwan: Hong Kong crisis spreads to Taiwan
The Hong Kong crisis began in Taiwan: According to his confession to the Hong Kong authorities, the then 19-year-old Chang Tong-kai killed his pregnant girlfriend there. Both came from Hong Kong and Chang fled there after his crime. However, because Hong Kong had not signed an extradition agreement with Taiwan, Chang could not be transferred there. And because the act occurred in Taiwan, Chan could not be charged with murder in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong's Prime Minister Carrie Lam took the case as an opportunity to introduce an extradition agreement - which included several states and the People's Republic of China. Hong Kong is part of China, but has its own political system under the motto "One State - Two Systems". Hong Kong democracy activists feared that the law would be used to pull politically unpopular citizens of China's Communist Party to the knife. Mass protests continued to this day. Even though the law has now been withdrawn, Hong Kong activists continue to fight for democratic rights that they see threatened by Beijing. And the Hong Kong crisis is now spreading to Taiwan.
Taiwan's Relations with the People's Republic of China ~ The island of Taiwan has always been the haven for Chinese people who felt threatened in their homeland - economically or politically. There have been several waves of immigration over the centuries.
The last wave of immigration from China came in 1949 when the nationalist Kuomintang lost the civil war against Mao Zedong's communists. The Kuomintang withdrew to Taiwan with soldiers and two million civilians and established a dictatorship that lasted until the 1990s. Both sides, both Taiwan under the name of the Republic of China and the People's Republic of China under Mao, claimed to be the sole representative of a single China.
An unofficial rapprochement then took place through the consensus of 1992. This states that there is only one China, but that both sides have different ideas about what this China should look like.
In Taiwan, this consensus is still a point of reference for the Kuomintang, but the ruling DPP rejects it and promotes greater sovereignty for Taiwan.
Beijing still does not rule out a military strike for reunification with Taiwan. But behind Taiwan stands the protective power of the USA.
Xi Jinping is irritated
There will be elections there on Saturday. President Tsai Ing-wen had to struggle with moderate approval ratings until the spring of last year. Then came the Hong Kong crisis and now the 63-year-old lawyer is clearly ahead of her challenger Han Kuo-yu in the polls. Because Tsai and her Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) are far more distant from the People's Republic of China than Han and his Kuomintang party.
Hong Kong has such a radiance towards Taiwan because the Taiwanese see their own possible future there. More than 90 percent of Taiwan is inhabited by Chinese, the island is de facto independent and, in contrast to China with its one-party system, a solid democracy. But the Chinese Communist Party sees Taiwan as a breakaway province, wants reunification and does not rule out a military strike for this.
China's head of state Xi Jinping emphasized in a speech that he had the Hong Kong model of "one state - two systems" in mind for Taiwan. But this is met with broad rejection in Taiwan. In addition, there was Beijing's repeatedly unyielding stance towards democratic forces in Hong Kong. The decisive group of swing voters has therefore marched in the direction of incumbent Tsai. "25 to 30 percent of voters are assigned to this group, and it will now make the difference in the election," says sinologist Gunter Schubert, professor at the University of Tübingen and director of the European Research Center on Contemporary Taiwan.
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