Analysts view Xi Jinping’s silence as a clear sign that China’s Communist Party (CCP) has no wish to draw attention to what has been perceived as a devastating indictment of their leader’s belligerent approach towards Taiwan and Hong Kong. Professor Steve Tsang of SAOS University in London describes the CCP as “being in denial at the unintentionally helpful part President Xi played in securing a landslide victory for Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen. His misguided oppressiveness changed the electoral fortunes of President Tsai Ing-wen.

“Months before she had no realistic chance of a second term, but all this changed after the electorate saw Xi’s oppressive attitude towards Hong Kong and the Taiwanese people saw the true meaning of what China really means when they say ‘one country two systems’.”

China’s brutal crackdown of the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement has served to shine an international spotlight on Beijing’s betrayal of the “One Country, Two Systems” blueprint.

The ‘One Country, Two Systems’ concept was supposed to guarantee Hong Kong’s core freedoms and autonomy for 50 years, but in the run-up to Taiwan’s election President Xi continued to peddle the policy, with zero success, to Taiwan.

President Tsai of Taiwan’s DPP was quick to exploit her own nations fear of this core Beijing strategy, as one of her most effective campaign slogans was “Hong Kong today, Taiwan tomorrow”.

President Tsai of the DPP was reelected

President Tsai of the DPP was reelected (Image: GETTY)

The Beijing backed Hong Kong government’s handling of the pro-democracy protests played a significant part in convincing the Taiwanese electorate that “One Country, Two Systems” is a Trojan horse for an eventual annexation by Beijing.

The oppression in Hong Kong revealed to the nearly 24 million people who live on the self-governing island what the policy really means.

In a 2019 speech, President Xi said that “unification” was not something that could continue “to be passed from generation to generation” and repeated Beijing’s insistence on a one country, two systems approach, under which Taiwan would recognise China’s sovereignty over the island in return for wide-ranging autonomy.

Last year President Xi said: “Taiwan’s independence is a reversal of history and a dead-end road.”

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Taiwanese people celebrate the election result

Taiwanese people celebrate the election result (Image: GETTY)

President Tsai celebrates her win

President Tsai celebrates her win (Image: GETTY)

He added: “All people in Taiwan must clearly recognise that Taiwan’s independence would only bring profound disaster to Taiwan.”

President Tsai, who represents the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party, won 57 percent of the vote in a three-way race that had a high turnout of 74 percent.

She told reporters last weekend that the Taiwanese people “have shown that when our sovereignty is threatened, the Taiwanese people will shout our determination even more loudly back.”

“We reject the ‘one country, two systems’ proposed by Xi Jinping.

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Taiwanese people celebrate the election result

Taiwanese people celebrate the election result (Image: GETTY)

“We value the lifestyle of democracy, and we defend our sovereignty.”

Wang Xiangsui, a former Chinese air force colonel who now teaches at Beijing University in Beijing told the Financial Times that, “peaceful unification is still our first and best choice, but the possibility of using military force is increasing.

He added: “Tsai has challenged our bottom lines.

“China will increase pressure on Taiwan economically, militarily and diplomatically.”

President Xi of China

President Xi of China (Image: GETTY)

Rather than recognise that its pressure on Taiwan had failed, Beijing’s immediate reaction to the election was to double down on “one country, two systems” and say it would not change its policy.

Jude Blanchette, the Freeman Chair in China Studies at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington said: “This administration of Xi Jinping, but I would say more broadly the DNA of the Communist Party, does not do well to reflect and recalibrate in a way that signals reconciliation, compromise or what they would frame as weakness.

“I thoroughly expect that the conversation right now in Beijing is about turning the screws even more.”

Widely read Chinese state-backed tabloid the Global Times said in an editorial immediately after Taiwan’s election result that military flexing from Beijing may be stepped up in reaction to Taipei’s reinstatement of President Tsai.

President Tsai of the DPP was reelected

President Tsai of the DPP was reelected (Image: Gettty)

President Xi of China

President Xi of China (Image: GETTY)

The editorial of the newspaper said: “We need to plan to crack down on Tsai’s new provocative actions, including imposing military pressure.”

China has already sailed its newest aircraft carrier through the Taiwan Strait twice in the run-up to the election, and during Tsai’s first administration regularly flew bomber jets around the island.

Zheng Zhenqing, a Taiwan expert at Beijing’s elite Tsinghua University, said China using even more military coercion against Taiwan was “a realistic thing to do”.

“For the mainland, ‘one country, two systems’ is a basic policy of the state.

China versus US military

China versus US military (Image: Express)

“How can it be changed just because of one election in Taiwan?”

Official Chinese state-run Xinhua News Agency said in reaction to Taiwan’s election, “this temporary counter-current is just a bubble under the tide of the times”.

They called President Tsai’s decisive win a “fluke” while insisting that “reunification cannot be stopped by any force or anyone”.

Beijing downgraded ties with Taipei after President Tsai was elected in 2016 and has attempted to use various coercive measures to put pressure on her government, thinning the flow of mainland tourists and working to bar Taiwan from various international institutions, including the World Health Organisation and the recent round of UN-backed climate talks.

source: express.co.uk

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