Taiwan's first female president, Tsai Ing-wen, asserted yesterday in a speech marking the island's national day that opposition to China's "one country, two systems" solution -- the same solution now proving so incendiary in Hong Kong -- is "the overwhelming consensus among Taiwan's 23 million people... regardless of party affiliation or political position." This is not what China wants to hear.
As the world nervously watches Hong Kong's unraveling, a far bigger crisis is brewing in Taiwan, only a few hundred kilometers away. After decades of relative stability, tensions are again building over the island. The path to prevent these tensions from escalating into major military conflict is clear -- but the political will to take it is lacking.