The ongoing protests in Hong Kong offer insights into China’s flexibility of governance and its patient ability to challenge the current world order. Much has and will be written on this issue. But for an answer on how governance may unfold, consider Taiwan, which for 70 years has stood in the storm’s eye of a hostile and suspicious China.
One conclusion being mooted through think tanks in Beijing and Taipei is that the most pragmatic way forward is for China to be confident and counterintuitive enough to grant Hong Kong full democracy. Such a move would take the wind out of protesters’ sails, extinguish flames of discontent and enhance China’s global standing while being no threat to its own system of governance. The identities of the think tanks and academics involved remain confidential, but this is their argument. […]