Pro-independence activists at a rally in Taipei. Photo: Facebook

Beijing has been touting its “one country, two systems” formula as a constitutional solution to the question of Taiwan, a place it sees as a wayward province that must be brought back, even by force, in Beijing’s official line.

However, in response Taiwanese authorities have vehemently rejected Beijing’s overtures of autonomy after reunification, adding that post-handover Hong Kong under the “one country, two systems” formula was symptomatic of everything Taiwan would be put through if the island chose to embrace Beijing.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen issued a set of guidelines on key frontiers where Beijing’s offer of “one country, two systems” must be resisted, with mayors and other local officials planning their mainland trips being given a stern warning that they must not fall prey to Beijing’s “united front” schemes or overstep Taipei’s authority.

Taiwan’s National Security Council has also been wary about the ruling Democratic Progressive Party’s crushing defeat in November’s regional elections, which they fear could be a telltale sign of Beijing deploying covert economic and PR tactics to control Taiwanese politics and sway public sentiment.

It was understood that some chapters of Tsai’s guidelines against Beijing selling the “one country, two systems” idea were blotted out for security reasons, the same with a contingency plan prepared by the military in the event of a full-blown invasion by Beijing.

Meanwhile, the opposition Kuomintang party, known for its Beijing-friendly approach, has also raised doubts about how many Taiwanese would buy into Beijing’s “one country, two systems” propaganda, stressing that the national identity with the Republic of China – Taiwan’s official name – has never wavered.

But a KMT caucus member still blasted Tsai’s attempt at melodrama while middle-of-the-road voters in Taiwan never fancied reunification with China.

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je also noted that it would be unrealistic to ban all cross-strait exchanges. He called on Beijing to redefine and give more substance to its “one country, two systems” plan to convince Taiwanese, now that Hong Kong’s implementation had long turned out to be a failure.

Read more: Taipei warns popular mayor about China visit

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