Now that former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Lien Chan (連戰) and People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) smoothed the way for China's "united front" strategy, Beijing has made repeated forays against Taiwan. It has attacked from the outside, supported by the pan-blue fifth column inside Taiwan, who are delighted by the vicious strategy. It is amazing that the blue camp's inability to separate friend from enemy has reached such an absurd level.
Recently, China's offer of tariff-free access to imported fruit from Taiwan was nothing more than an attack disguised as a gift. But the pan-blue camp actually did much of the spade work for Beijing, even creating conflict between fruit farmers and the government. Following the visits by the two pan-blue leaders, other blue-camp legislators have made numerous trips to China, eagerly building a platform for cooperation.
Even though China has about 700 missiles directed at Taiwan, the blue camp continues to block the arms procurement bill and, indifferent to the growing imbalance in military strength across the Strait, they have instead set out to make friends with the enemy. This is not about "connecting with Taiwan," but is simply selling out Taiwan.
Recently, the blue camp has hardened its heart to any kind of ploy to "connect with China." Lien's and Soong's pilgrimages have furthermore achieved another result in encouraging Taiwanese students to study in China, building up a future generation of pro-China supporters, much in the same way as Lien's grandfather sent his father to the "homeland" to study.
The fact that Beijing gives preferential treatment to Taiwanese students is just another aspect of their "united front" strategy. After all, China has been emphasizing the importance of bringing young Taiwanese people over to the "motherland" for more than a decade.
Cultural and educational exchanges exactly meet the needs of China's "united front" strategy. Beijing has always emphasized student recruitment, which to all intents and purposes is allowing students to pay for their own brainwashing. After a few years of this, they become "pure Chinese," so it is hardly a surprise that China's leaders have been so generous in offering scholarships.
Both former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) and President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) have insisted on Taiwan not recognizing Chinese degrees. There is a simple reason for this, and that is that once Chinese degrees are accepted, many Taiwanese universities will have to close their doors and many teachers will lose their jobs. Even the issue of their national identity will become a problem for the younger generation. Only pan-blue politicians with ulterior motives continue to encourage Taiwanese students to embark on their "journey to the West," which may very well result in our next generation calling our enemy's country home.
China, on the other hand, is not at all afraid that Taiwan may see through its ploy. Chinese officials have openly admitted that enrolling Taiwanese students in Chinese schools is part of its overall goal of unifying the motherland, and that the issue must be understood from the vantage point of unification. This makes it clear that the idea of separating politics from education remains an illusion in China. For the authorities in Beijing, education is an opportunity to disseminate ideology.