China has drafted three new policy guidelines for cross-Taiwan Strait engagements in the wake of the Jan. 14 presidential and legislative elections, according to a local media report.
One of the new strategies involves Beijing expanding its outreach to Taiwanese with different party affiliations and from all walks of life, as well as an effort to exert more influence over the Taiwanese news media and help China-based Taiwanese companies upgrade operations and resolve trade disputes, the Chinese-language United Daily News said.
Chinese officials in charge of cross-strait affairs have held several brainstorming sessions since President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) was re-elected to a second four-year term last month, a source familiar with the matter said earlier this week.
In addition to charting three new policy guidelines, Chinese officials have also begun to execute decisions reached at those meetings, the source said.
The visit of Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits Deputy Chairman Zheng Lizhong (鄭立中), Beijing’s No. 2 cross-strait negotiator, which concluded on Thursday, was part of China’s new approach, the source said.
During his visit, Zheng, who is also deputy director of China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, traveled extensively in southern Taiwan, a DPP stronghold. While there he met with local farmers and aquaculture operators in an effort to forge relationships. According to the source, Zheng even stayed overnight at the homes of milkfish growers in Greater Tainan.
He also reached an agreement with Tainan milkfish farmers to form a joint venture company to handle fish farming in Taiwan and the sale of the fish in China, the source said.
Prior to his departure on Thursday, Zheng said his visit had been very fruitful, but he did not elaborate.
Other sources said that China’s new cross-strait action plan includes inviting Taiwanese to engage in “long stay” visits in China’s first-tier cities, living with selected Chinese families in an attempt to forge grassroots friendships.
The Chinese authorities will also continue to encourage Taiwanese to study and work in China.
In addition, the sources said that Beijing was not ruling out engaging with Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) figures or other pro-independence supporters.
Political and military issues could also be placed on the agenda of future cross-strait talks, the sources said.
Most interesting is the suggestion that China has decided to enhance its direct and indirect influence on the news media in Taiwan, the sources said, adding that the decision is based on Beijing’s belief that the reporting of local media outlets have helped convince many Taiwanese to support the so-called “1992 consensus” for cross-strait cooperation.
The KMT defines the “1992 consensus” as an agreement according to which it interprets “one China” as the Republic of China (ROC) on Taiwan, while Beijing defines it as the People’s Republic of China. The DPP says the “1992 consensus” does not exist.
Taiwan might be China’s next target after it has “walled off” Hong Kong from the rest of the world with its new national security legislation, Academia Sinica Institute of Sociology fellow Wu Jieh-min (吳介民) said on Thursday. At a seminar organized by the Economic Democracy Union, the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, the Hong Kong Outlanders and the Judicial Reform Foundation, Wu said that the legislation is simultaneously a fig leaf concealing Beijing’s autocratic rule in Hong Kong and a figurative “Berlin Wall,” denying democratic countries access to Hong Kong. Wu said it is evident that Taiwan would be China’s next target. The
SAFETY CONCERNS: A construction company working nearby admitted to negligence in the incident, and is to pay a fine and other expenses related to damages Residents of homes adjacent to an alleyway in New Taipei City’s Yonghe District (永和) on Saturday were forced to evacuate their homes after the road collapsed, the New Taipei City government said yesterday. An 80m by 4m area in an alleyway on Wenhua Road (文化路) collapsed at 10:39am near an apartment building construction site where work was being done on the project’s foundation. The incident also ruptured an underground gas pipe and tilted several buildings in the area. Residents would not be able to return to their homes until tomorrow or Wednesday, when repairs are expected to be finished, the city government said. Workers
ARMS RACE: Two DPP lawmakers said that China’s development model differed from Taiwan’s, as it aims to become a global hegemon, while Taiwan seeks to protect itself Taiwanese national defense experts are split on how Taiwan should respond to the ever-growing budget of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), with some advocating for Taiwan to increase defense spending, while others say that little can be done. The Legislative Yuan approved NT$358 billion (US$12.1 billion) for national defense spending across fiscal 2020, a 3.47 percent increase compared with last year, while China’s military budget this year is NT$5.4 trillion, more than 15 times that of Taiwan. Regardless of whether the government adopts a zero-based budgeting method for national defense spending — in which all expenses are justified and approved each
Taiwan is the second-safest country in the world, after Qatar, according to visitors to an online database, who voted on 133 countries and territories worldwide. In online database Numbeo’s Crime Index by Country 2020 Mid-Year survey, Taiwan scored 84.74 out of 100 for safety. That score put Taiwan in second place, followed by the United Arab Emirates with 84.55 and Georgia with 79.50. The top ranked country, Qatar, had a safety score of 88.10. Numbeo said that the results were based on surveys of visitors to its Web site who were asked to rate the safety and overall level of crime