The One Country, Two Systems (OCTS) model was initially proposed by Beijing as a unification arrangement for Taiwan. Despite failing to gain much traction in cross-Strait relations, Chinese leaders periodically reiterate the formula in the context of discussing Taiwan. For their part, Taiwanese leaders and society alike have always strongly rejected the idea and when Xi Jinping recently repeated that model is still in place for Taiwan, the reaction from Taipei was a resounding “no thanks”. More successfully, OCTS was put in practice in Hong-Kong and Macau after the former British and Portuguese colonies were returned to Beijing’s rule in 1997 and 1999 respectively. Institutionally, the OCTS model is linked with Hong Kong’s Basic Law and the PRC’s pledge that it won’t change Hong Kong’s established system and high level of autonomy for a period of 50 years. Nevertheless, Beijing’s unwillingness to allow direct popular election of the Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, which many see as broken promise, has eventually escalated into large scale protests and occupations of public areas in Hong Kong, known as the Umbrella Revolution that has been rumbling on since late September. Inspired to some extent by the Taiwanese Sunflower Movement, Hong Kong’s protests draw attention to OCTS model, especially the long-term viability of something that seems to be unsustainable. Under these conditions, the chances that Taiwan would ever consider it as an option do not appear to be very high, the less so considering that support for unification in Taiwan is at historical low and steadily decreasing.

To examine OCTS in the light of the most recent developments in Taiwan and Hong Kong, the China Policy Institute has invited contributions on a broad range of issues related but not limited to the institutional setting in Hong-Kong, historical development of the model, the potential long-term effects of the Umbrella student movement, possible challenges and alternatives to institutional arrangements in Hong-Kong and Macau, the (un)suitability of the model to Taiwan, etc. The list of distinguished contributors includes:

Michael C. Davis, University of Hong Kong.

Donald Rodgers, Austin College.

Shiu Hing Lo, Hong Kong Institute of Education.

Daniel Garrett, City University of Hong Kong.

Jennifer Eagleton, University of Hong Kong.

Alexandre Calvo, Nagoya University.

Ng Hoi Yu, Hong Kong Institute of Education.

Image Credit: CC by Pranav Bhatt/Flickr.

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