What Hong Kong can learn from Taiwan’s fate: think twice before blindly rejecting Beijing

PUBLISHED : Friday, 31 August, 2018, 5:02pm
UPDATED : Friday, 31 August, 2018, 5:01pm

I refer to your report, “El Salvador’s diplomatic switch to Beijing may hit economy and security throughout Americas, United States warns” (August 24).

It is an inevitable trend that Taiwan will lose more diplomatic allies in the future, given China’s growing economic status, and this process is likely to accelerate as President Tsai Ing-wen refuses to acknowledge the “1992 consensus” which is a fundamental principle of cross-strait relations.

Taiwan was one of the four “Asian tigers” in the 1980s, but economic development has plummeted since the 2000s. This is primarily due to the fact that Taiwan’s leaders chose a hostile attitude when dealing with China, and eventually the Taiwanese people paid the price, the economy suffered and Taiwan’s status continues to decline.

The Taiwan political model could have been a good example for both China and Hong Kong in establishing democratic governance. Sadly, democratisation does not seem to have improved the Taiwanese people’s living standard. Wages remain low and opportunities are rather limited. The sight of brawling legislators is a shame for democracy.

Watch: El Salvador breaks ties with Taiwan in favour of Beijing

Since 1949, Taiwan has been independent from China, so it is foolish for politicians to debate whether Taiwan will be independent for two decades rather than focus on the actual needs of the people. Such arguments not only anger Beijing but also create deep divisions in Taiwan’s society.

Taiwan’s story serves as a warning for Hong Kong’s separatists, especially when we are under Chinese sovereignty. It is unwise to blindly reject China and try to challenge the bottom line. We risk losing many opportunities to understand each other and promote our well-being together.

Anfield Tam, Quarry Bay