During 10 Oct speech marking National Day, President Tsai denounced “one country, two systems” formula proposed by Beijing for reunification, saying it has put Hong Kong on “brink of disorder” and represents threat to Taiwan. Foreign minister earlier described China as practicing “authoritarian expansionism” in the Pacific, citing planned Chinese military presence in two Pacific countries (Kiribati and Solomon Islands) that switched diplomatic allegiance to Beijing in Sept. Speaking at Xiangshan security forum in Beijing 21 Oct, Chinese defence minister Wei Fenghe stated that reunification with Taiwan is China’s “greatest national interest”.
After drifting toward crisis for much of 2004, the outlook for stability across the Taiwan Strait has improved.
Each side’s most preferred solution for resolving the continuing Taiwan Strait issue – in the case of Taipei, widely recognised de jure independence; and in the case of Beijing, reunification of China on the same ‘one country, two systems’ basis as Hong Kong – are both non-starters.
Apparently irreconcilable positions on the ‘one China’ principle have emerged between China and Taiwan over the last decade, with Taiwan for some time now asserting not only that it is a separate political entity but an independent sovereign country.
China's underlying position on its cross-Strait relations, however strong its current commitment to peaceful diplomacy, is that Taiwan must make sustained, visible progress toward a peaceful settlement or risk a resort to armed hostilities.
In the last decade, Taiwan has moved slowly but surely away from its commitment to the idea of ‘one China’, the proposition, long agreed on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, that Taiwan and the mainland are parts of one country.