Bejing’s promotion of cross-strait exchanges is nothing but propaganda and an attempt to poach Taiwanese talent, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said yesterday after Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) urged young Taiwanese to support unification.
“I am glad to learn that young people from Taiwan have witnessed the rapid developments and changes of the motherland, and felt the warm feelings between compatriots from both sides of the Taiwan Strait who are all of the same family,” Xi told the Straits Youth Forum in Xiamen earlier yesterday.
The coorganizers of this year’s forum — the 20th iteration of the event — included the Chinese Communist Party’s All-China Youth Federation and the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) Department of Youth Affairs.
Young Taiwanese should join hands with their Chinese counterparts to “strive relentlessly for national rejuvenation,” Xi said.
In response, the MAC said that educational exchanges are part of Beijing’s campaign to gain political influence in Taiwan, but its promises are not made in good faith.
Citing Xi’s comment, the MAC said the Chinese leader pledged to “maintain the excellent conditions of academic exchanges across the Strait as before.”
Xi’s claim was undercut by the Chinese government in April 2020 unilaterally shutting down the path for Chinese students to study in Taiwan, it said.
“It is clear that China’s exchanges and proclamations of mutual benefits for young Taiwanese are nothing but propaganda to poach talent to fill capability gaps in its economy,” the MAC said. “Its claims of mutually beneficial exchanges are insincere.”
Information packets warning Taiwanese of the pitfalls of studying or working in China were published on the council’s Web page ahead of the forum, while domestic groups are urged not to become tools of Beijing, it said.
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Wang Mei-hui (王美惠) said China is taking advantage of young first-time jobseekers with empty promises of economic opportunities.
Many Taiwanese investors have lost money in the Chinese market due to predatory state-sanctioned business practices, she said, adding that a society devoid of democracy and human rights can offer no advantages.
“Young people should be aware of the true conditions behind the facade in China,” she said. “As for the fatherland, one country on each side has long since been the reality for Taiwan and China.”
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