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Why would Taiwan avoid this arrangement? Obviously, Taiwan would like to preserve its democracy, but at some point Taipei will have to reckon with the economic realities of the region and relative American decline. Could Beijing ever formulate a version of "One Country, Two Systems" that would work or are the downsides too great for Taiwan?

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    It's surely an option, but probably not the preferred one at the moment. What do you want to know more about specifically here? We cannot look into the future, but we can tell you about advantages and disadvantages of different possibilities.
    – Trilarion
    Apr 5 at 13:46
  • @Trilarion I guess I'm just looking for some concrete reasons for why the Taiwanese would refuse the One Country, Two Systems approach considering the increasing inability of the United States to defend Taiwan from the China. Eventually, Taipei will have to come to grips with Chinese regional hegemony.
    – aengel
    Apr 5 at 14:03
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    You already assume a lot. Almost like you already know the answer and only need a confirmation. Better to ask more open ended. Maybe the US and others are still very much able to defend Taiwan from China. Maybe Taiwan thinks that they can manage with the level of protection. Or Taiwan sees other options that you didn't include above and that they like more. It may only be one of many options and currently not the best one.
    – Trilarion
    Apr 5 at 14:23
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    Yeah, well, Hong Kong is a shining example of why Taiwan has to see the light. That's definitely two very separate systems, with an independent judiciary guaranteed all the way to 2047. They even hold elections too. Apr 5 at 21:55
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    To me "but at some point Taipei will have to reckon with the economic realities of the region" sounds like "We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own.. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile." Unless you can support the "have to reckon with the economic realities" premise and address Taiwan's New Southbound Policy Are you able to add something to support this premise?
    – uhoh
    Apr 6 at 7:02

2 Answers 2

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There don't seem to be takers in Taiwan for this slogan/approach anymore. Quoting Wikipedia:

In January 2019, Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), had announced an open letter to Taiwan proposing a "one country, two systems" formula for eventual unification. President Tsai Ing-wen responded to Xi in a January 2019 speech by stating that Taiwan rejected "one country, two systems" and that because Beijing equated the 1992 Consensus with "one country, two systems", Taiwan rejected the 1992 Consensus as well. Tsai expressed her solidarity with Hong Kong protesters, remarking that Taiwan's democracy was hard-earned and had to be guarded and renewed. Pledging that as long as she was Taiwan's president, she would never accept "one country, two systems", Tsai cited what she considered to be the constant and rapid deterioration of Hong Kong's democracy over the course of 20 years. Following the landslide defeat of the KMT in the 2020 Taiwanese presidential election, KMT chairman Johnny Chiang rejected the "one country, two systems" as a feasible model for Taiwan. In 2021 the KMT platform under newly elected chairman Eric Chu also continued to include the 1992 consensus while rejecting "one country, two systems".

Neither the DPP nor the KMT seem to like that phrase anymore. And the Wikipedia article on the "1992 consensus" suggests that latter term has become contested as well, in terms of what it means/meant. The general public in Taiwan nowadays seems to see it as meaning two countries:

When asked which version of the Consensus a citizen would like to support, most (75.1%) [of Taiwanese polled] endorsed the view that PRC and ROC are two different countries. Ironically, this might be the exact statement (cross-Strait as country-to-country relations) that founders of the Consensus tried to prevent in the first place.

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No. "One country, two systems" was a political slogan in China intended for Hong Kong. Everybody agrees it doesn't work.

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  • I would delve a bit more into the literature if I were you. There is a lot of discussion regarding the application of "One Country, Two Systems" beyond Hong Kong and Macau. Many people do believe this is a viable option for Taiwan, especially in Chinese academic circles.
    – aengel
    Apr 5 at 13:06
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    @aengel The system clearly did not work for Hong Kong (or rather, did not work in a way agreeable to the citizens of HK, it seems like the Chinese government is thrilled with the results...), why do you think the citizens of Taiwan would have faith in it? Apr 5 at 13:42
  • @DenisNardin I don't think the citizens of Taiwan would have faith in the system. However, at some point Taipei is going to have have to grapple with Chinese regional (if not global) hegemony. China has clearly made it known that Taiwan will eventually come under their rule ("We make no promise to renounce the use of force and reserve the option of taking all necessary means" - Xi Jinping). How will Taiwan deal with that? It will eventually lose an economic/ military conflict and there's doubts about American willingness to defend Taiwan even now.
    – aengel
    Apr 5 at 14:08

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