Tue, Aug 29, 2006 - Page 3 News List

MAC says Beijing targeting youths

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Vice Chairman Huang Wei-feng (黃偉峰) yesterday said that China was enhancing political propaganda targeting young Taiwanese -- through such methods as subsidized tours -- and that the government would develop strategies to deal with it.

Huang said that in recent years Beijing had focused on Taiwanese youth as the key targets of their unification war, offering them all kinds of exchange activities.

For example, China has offered preferential treatment to Taiwanese college students to attract them to visit through a measure called "landing reception," Huang said.

The "landing reception" program subsidizes expenses for Taiwanese students who participate in summer camps held by the Chinese authorities, covering things such as lodging.

Over the past two years, "landing reception" has become a common enticement used by China when inviting Taiwanese youth to visit, according to the MAC.

The summer camps include sightseeing and activities such as finding "family origins," as well as visits to well-known colleges and sites of the 2008 Olympic Games.

"With its rising economic advantage, China intends to enhance recognition of China among Taiwanese with these subsidized activities, and it is also offering soft terms for Taiwanese students to attract them to enroll in its colleges," he said.

"But all these preferential treatment measures, including cultural interaction, college recruitment and jobs, are actually aimed at long-term political goals," Huang said.

The sponsors of the summer activities are civic groups under the Chinese Communist Party and government, which shows that Beijing is using many kinds of organizations to advance its propaganda campaign, Huang said.

The government had recognized these new unification war tactics and was focusing its efforts on them, Huang said.

"In addition to building up the younger generation's national identification with Taiwan and educating them on proper kinds of exchanges, we will also encourage and invite more Chinese students to visit Taiwan and make them understand Taiwan's democracy and freedom," Huang said.

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