Taiwanese businesspeople based in China have shown mixed reactions to an attempt by Fujian Province to recruit Taiwanese managers for a special development zone, with some showing interest and others worrying that it would only hurt Taiwan’s interests.
Fujian Governor Su Shulin (蘇樹林) announced in Beijing last week that his province’s Pingtan Comprehensive Experimental Zone would offer management positions to Taiwanese professionals at annual salaries of between 200,000 yuan (US$31,770) and 1.2 million yuan.
A provincial government official also promised that Taiwanese managers would be invited to join the Pingtan management committee, which at present is made up of seven people from Fujian.
The project’s goal is to recruit 1,000 Taiwanese with agricultural expertise.
Some Taiwanese businesspeople see the offer as potentially lucrative and have even started to study the possibility of relocating there.
However, one Taiwanese businessman based in China, identified only by his surname Hsieh (謝), said the scheme was designed to attract capital, talent and technology away from Taiwan.
Once the special development zone becomes developed, it will replace Kinmen as an important hub for cross-strait exchanges, he said.
Another businessman, who has been operating a flower business in China for more than a decade and declined to give his name, said the project was another example of China’s old practice of attracting Taiwanese talent and capital.
The businessman said the scheme’s goal was to lure Taiwanese to settle and become the driving force behind the region’s development.
However, he said that Taiwanese businesspeople who take up the offer would be completely at the mercy of China’s government, which could coerce them into giving up their assets at any time.
Meanwhile, Kinmen County Council Speaker Wang Tsai-sheng (王再生), who has close connections with Fujian, praised Su’s idea.
However, he suggested that an outside consultant should outline the joint management plan before Taiwanese managers get involved, because of different systems and regulations across the Taiwan Strait.