Wed, Apr 11, 2018 - Page 8 News List

CCP striving to lure Taiwanese

By Masao Sun 孫國祥

Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) has launched his “new era” of Chinese politics with a vengeance. No longer is China emphasizing the principle of “conceal its capabilities and bide its time” promoted by former paramount leader Deng Xiaoping (鄧小平). Now anything goes in its drive for power.

Xi’s ambition goes beyond projecting political and economic hard power and challenging the international order built by the Western powers, with the US at the forefront.

Xi is also attempting to control discourse through soft power with a global charm offensive that seeks to promote the “China model,” the “China plan” and the “Chinese experience.”

China’s global soft power deployment includes establishing 525 Confucius Institutes in 146 countries, as well as official cultural institutions in 35 countries, recruiting 60 million people worldwide that it calls its “compatriots” to preach Beijing’s narrative and broadcast China’s voice to those that can best help in its “united front.”

In the past, the overseas communities of people from China and Taiwan would have little to do with each other; there would be a distinct feeling of enmity between them.

Even if the respective communities were involved in certain activities at the same time, it would still be a case of never the twain shall meet.

Now that the Chinese communists have got overseas Chinese involved in their united front tactics, Xi keeps breaking with convention and has instigated a raft of changes.

We are likely to see more examples of the Chinese communists targeting Taiwan-friendly communities, attempting all manner of tactics to penetrate, divide, tempt, bribe, manipulate and topple them.

The worry is that now Beijing has unilaterally decided to bypass Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party government and offered “31 incentives” to lure Taiwanese businesses, professionals and graduates to China, it will once again circumvent Taiwan’s trade offices abroad and target pro-Taiwan overseas groups, academies and leaders.

The Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) United Front Work Department is mainly responsible for handling affairs concerning overseas Chinese communities. It directs the dissemination of pro-China propaganda, cultural exchanges and teaching Chinese-language courses overseas.

Its goal is to advance Beijing’s anti-Taiwanese independence, pro-unification stance around the globe and, through these actions, facilitate the annexation of Taiwan.

First, the department’s policy invokes a cultural, geographical and ethnic identification with China to promote the idea of a common Chinese destiny and thereby draw “compatriots” closer to China.

Second, the policy aims to foster support within overseas communities for the CCP as the only legal representative government of China and as the legitimate standard-bearer for Chinese culture.

Third, the department, together with its subsidiary, the All-China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese, is using geographical, business and blood ties to strengthen links with international and regional overseas Chinese organizations to support Xi’s vision of a “Great Chinese revival” and his “China dream.”

The aim is to provide overseas Chinese “compatriots” with an image of China as a nation that in the future will be prosperous and strong, democratic, civilized, harmonious and beautiful, and thereby develop overseas Chinese communities into a powerful pro-CCP force.

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