Despite vigorous promotion, Beijing’s “31 incentives” to attract Taiwanese businesses and professionals have only had a limited effect on Taiwan, Taiwanese academics said yesterday.
Statistics released yesterday by China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) showed that the number of Taiwanese visiting China last year surpassed 6 million, an increase of 4.58 percent from 2017.
However, that percentage represents only marginal growth over the 4.53 percent increase from 2016 to 2017, and significantly lower growth than the 14.65 percent increase from 2009 to 2010.
Last year, about 6.14 million Taiwanese businesspeople, students and workers traveled to China, TAO statistics showed.
The TAO claims that the measures are meant to offer “Taiwanese compatriots” a sense of satisfaction and honor. Its measures have so far targeted 80 provincial, regional or city locations.
“Fujian residents are insured socially and medically — that’s how Taiwanese residents will be insured. We are one family in every sense of the word,” Fujian Province Governor Yu Weiguo (于偉國) said at a news conference in Beijing yesterday.
A China News Service report yesterday said that the Chinese government in the first half of this year approved 2,468 opportunities in China in which Taiwanese can invest, and that Taiwanese investment reached about US$980 million.
However, figures released by the Ministry of Economic Affairs showed that remittances by Taiwanese firms operating in China had as of yesterday exceeded NT$452 billion (US$14.56 billion).
Chinese statistics are often tweaked a bit to serve as propaganda, Chien Hsin University of Science and Technology professor Yen Chien-fa (顏建發) said yesterday, adding that the TAO statistics support that the measures have been ineffective.
According to statistics released by the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics, the number of Taiwanese who in 2017 pursued a career in China totaled about 405,000 — a 10-year low — suggesting that the number last year could have been much less than 400,000.
About 60 percent of Taiwanese have never visited China, most of whom are young people, said Lin Wen-cheng (林文程), professor at National Sun Yat-sen University’s Institute of China and Asia-Pacific Studies.
This has led Chinese authorities to hold summer camps and free tours targeting first-time visitors, which they claim allow Taiwanese to witness the “greatness of the motherland,” Lin said.
While people going to China for a short stay might be deceived by its grandeur, living there long-term would show them how their freedoms are deprived and their activities watched, Lin said, adding that Taiwanese would likely have a difficult time adapting to those conditions.
That is the main reason that Beijing’s measures promoted as “incentives” have not encouraged more Taiwanese to go and work there, Lin added.
A Taipei veterinarian is urging pet owners to avoid using insecticides around their homes, as their ingredients can be toxic to pets. Commercial-grade insecticides contain pyrethroids — organic compounds similar to natural pyrethrins, pesticides produced by flowers such as chrysanthemums — in quantities that are harmless to humans, but potentially fatal to cats and dogs, Asian Veterinary Specialist Referral Center veterinarian Chua Man-ling (蔡曼琳) said. Even in small quantities, pyrethroids are hazardous to cats, as they lack the metabolic enzymes needed to process them, Chua said. Cockroach sprays and ant traps are especially dangerous to pets as they contain boric acid, she
People should avoid eating too many zongzi (粽子, glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo leaves), as consuming several in one meal could cause indigestion, bloating, gastric acid reflux, heartburn and other stomach ailments, a doctor said on Saturday. Zongzi is a traditional delicacy for the Dragon Boat Festival, which was on Thursday. Citing a recent case as an example, Cathay General Hospital gastroenterology department head Chu Yu-ming (朱淯銘) said that a 58-year-old taxi driver surnamed Hsiao (蕭) ate meals at irregular hours due to his work and has been taking diabetes medicine for three years. Hsiao recently bought a bag of zongzi and ate
DREAMING OF TRAVEL: About 7,000 people applied for the experience, with about 60 chosen for the first flight yesterday, which includes boarding an airplane Starved of the travel experience during COVID-19? Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) has the solution — a fake itinerary where you check in, go through passport control and security, and even board the aircraft. You just never leave. The airport yesterday began offering travelers the chance to do just that, with about 60 people eager to get going, albeit to nowhere. About 7,000 people applied to take part, with the winners chosen by random. More fake flight experiences are to take place in the coming weeks. “I really want to leave the country, but because of the pandemic, lots of flights cannot fly,”
A DEPRIVATION? The Taiwan Higher Education Union said the program, which drew much student criticism, undermined students' right to an education The Taiwan Higher Education Union on Monday accused Ming Chuan University (MCU) of sacrificing its students’ right to education by altering the English-language instruction for first-year students. The university, which has long emphasized the value that it places on English-language education, in the 2019-2020 academic year changed its English program for first-year students to a combination of self-learning through online videos and weekly lab sessions, during which students would take online tests, the union said. The change has deprived more than 3,000 students of in-person instruction and of interaction with their teachers, the union added. The online program drew much criticism from students