The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has released a plan to economically integrate China’s Fujian Province with Taiwan’s Kinmen County, outlining a cross-strait development project based on six major themes and 21 measures.
This official document by the CCP is directed toward Taiwan’s three outlying island counties: Penghu County, Lienchiang County (Matsu) and Kinmen County. The plan sets out to construct a cohabiting sphere between Kinmen and the nearby Chinese city of Xiamen, as well as between Matsu and Fuzhou. It also aims to bring together Minnanese cultural areas including Taiwan’s Penghu and China’s cities of Quanzhou and Zhangzhou for further integrated development. These three steps show the CCP’s agenda in making Taiwan’s outlying islands in the Taiwan Strait more dependent on China. In doing so, Taiwan’s national defense would be weakened day by day. This is a war strategy designed to subdue one’s enemy without fighting.
Beijing has said that China has made “concessions” in this plan for the sake of Taiwanese. The Chinese government said that Kinmen and Matsu residents would receive the same treatment as residents of Xiamen and Fuzhou. For instance, the plan explained that it would advance the gas, electricity and transportation links between Kinmen and Xiamen, and Kinmen residents would have shared access to Xiamen’s new airport.
Similarly, between Matsu and Fuzhou, water, gas, electricity and transportation links would be established and promoted. The plan said that Taiwanese citizens living in Fujian Province would no longer need to submit temporary residence registration, and would be encouraged to purchase property there. The plan also talked about the “Hakka ancestral land” to bring Taiwanese Hakka and Chinese Hakka together.
Clearly, this plan is attempting to achieve integration through logistics, commerce, education, employment, folk customs, justice, technology, culture and entertainment, to ensure the CCP realizes its goal of so-called “peaceful unification.”
The “concessions” made by Beijing would reinforce China’s grip on Taiwanese living on Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu. Beijing aims to bolster these counties’ dependence on China and have them subjugated, so that they no longer reject and fear China. The purpose is to infiltrate Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu, and gradually get hold of these three counties’ important resources relevant to people’s livelihoods. If Beijing’s “concessions” and enticements failed to work, Taiwanese residents of these three counties would still be threatened and extorted by the CCP, both physically and psychologically. This is precisely what Russia did to Crimea in 2014.
The CCP released this plan at this moment for a particular reason. Obviously, Beijing aims to turn Taiwan’s front line (which includes Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu) into China’s de facto territory. Through the Taiwanese residents’ minds and lives, China would annex the three counties, and it would be Taiwan’s turn next. Eventually, the nation would become “a part of China.” The plan directed at Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu could be a forerunner of CCP Politburo Standing Committee member Wang Huning’s (王滬寧) new “one country, two systems” project. This should be considered a skirmish before China officially launches its propaganda war against Taiwan.
Taipei should do everything for Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu residents to build up their immunity against China before it is too late.
Sheng I-che is the host of “Face China.”
Translated by Emma Liu
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