Taiwan watches as China closes in on Hong Kong

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An increasingly assertive China is making its presence felt in Hong Kong, which is a development Taiwan is watching closely as the self-governed island marks 30 years after the lifting of martial law.
"The Hong Kong experience provided a glimpse of what might happen to Taiwan should the `One Country, Two Systems` formula apply (to Taiwan).
So far, it is not very optimistic," said Chen-shen Yen, an international relations researcher at Taiwan`s National Chengchi University.
The "One Country, Two Systems" model is supposed to guarantee wide-ranging autonomy and judicial independence for Hong Kong and Macau, both former Western colonies.
Hong Kong recently commemorated 20 years under that system since the U.
handed it over to China, but the celebration came amid fears about declining autonomy.
That is, activists in Hong Kong say Beijing has reneged on its promise.
In a highly-publicized case, booksellers hawking politically-sensitive texts in Hong Kong disappeared — only to resurface in detention on the mainland.
China has repeatedly pitched the "One Country, Two Systems" model to Taiwan, but with no success.
Taiwan views itself as a sovereign state, unlike Hong Kong, which was a British colony, said Yen.
A recent survey by research organization Taiwan Thinktank found half of young Taiwanese polled deemed "One Country, Two Systems" to have failed in Hong Kong.
Just 22 percent viewed it as a success.
Meanwhile, more than 73 percent of respondents said they were not willing to accept reunification under the model.
Taiwan`s Mainland Affairs Council gave its take on China`s influence in Hong Kong just before the territory`s handover anniversary.
The council`s deputy head, Chiu Chui-cheng said Beijing should respond to the Hong Kong people`s pursuit of democratic institutions and values, and keep its promise to Hong Kong.

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