- President Tsai Ing-wen may have won a second term on an anti-China platform, but the city must have healthy relations with Beijing and confrontation is not the way to go
Hongkongers watched Taiwan's elections with mixed feelings. On one hand, the extradition bill fiasco has helped President Tsai Ing-wen win a second term with her anti-mainland platform. On the other, we are still unable to elect the chief executive with a popular vote. As we admire the island's full democracy, we also wonder what is to become of our ongoing unrest and the quest for universal suffrage. With the city's relations with Beijing still in the doldrums, the way forward is far from clear. But we certainly cannot follow Taiwan's antagonistic approach for a way out.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor has only got herself to blame for turning a Taipei murder case involving a Hongkonger into a crisis favourable to the independence-leaning leader. But there are reasons why the elections resonated more than ever this year. For the first time, the city's extradition fiasco and "one country, two systems" governing formula became key campaign issues. As more people see Taiwan as an option for emigration, many are taking a close interest in its political development. There has been a suggestion that Tsai's approach appeals to those critical of Beijing.
Hong Kong protesters in Taiwan celebrate election result, stage demonstration
Taiwan has long been close to the heart of many Hongkongers but, intriguingly, some protesters showed up at Tsai victory rallies waving "Glory to Hong Kong" banners. There were even calls for her to show more support for the city.
Hong Kong's future does not lie with Taiwan, and Tsai cannot do anything to lift us out of our predicament. Relations between Taipei and the government have already been strained by the extradition bill row. We can only hope that Tsai will not further undermine relations between Beijing and Hong Kong.
Our situation is different from that in Taiwan. Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule more than 22 years ago. Whether one country, two systems is the way to go for Taiwan's reunification is open to debate, and it has been repeatedly rejected by its people. But for the city, it is the only viable option and it's in our interests to make it work. That involves striking a balance suitable to both the central government and Hong Kong. Our future lies in a healthy relations with Beijing. Confrontation is not the way to go.
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