Taiwan is a vibrant democracy with a free market economy and liberal culture. Only a couple generations ago the territory was a dictatorship facing a fearsome totalitarian regime barely 100 miles away, which claimed the island state as its own. What was known as the Republic of China survived against long odds. Today, however, Taiwan’s future looks increasingly bleak.
Of late Beijing’s preference was a negotiated surrender, based on the “one country, two systems” model. Alas, that option has disappeared. The Chinese Communist Party has transformed Hong Kong, the prime example of “two systems,” from a free-wheeling, semi-autonomous polity into an authoritarian vassal in which free speech, political activism, and journalistic autonomy have disappeared and CCP apparatchiks rule. Such a system holds no attraction for Taiwan’s population, especially younger Taiwanese who feel no connection to historic China, let alone today’s increasingly totalitarian superstate.