In preparation for its centennial on July 1, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has begun a “united front” offensive to influence Taiwanese public opinion to force officials to lift restrictions on cross-strait exchanges, an official said yesterday.
The CCP has been preparing events for the milestone anniversary, for which it reportedly plans to invite “certain” political parties and people from Taiwan.
Cross-strait interactions have stalled since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, although the government has announced plans to restart regular exchanges.
Despite the resumption of business travel in March and a Mainland Affairs Council plan presented last month to gradually restore regular exchanges, Beijing has said that the scope is too limited.
China has been pushing measures to resume travel.
China’s Fujian Province is preparing to launch a trial scheme that would shorten quarantine requirements for certain Taiwanese travelers from 14 days to two, although it was postponed from its original start date, today, given Taiwan’s increase in domestic cases.
The council has warned that the scheme is part of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) plan to assimilate Taiwanese through economics, preferential treatment and feelings of affinity.
Upcoming events such as the centennial and the annual Straits Forum, as well as unilateral efforts to ease travel restrictions, show that a new “united front” offensive has already begun, an official involved in cross-strait affairs said yesterday.
COVID-19 vaccines would almost certainly be used to influence travel policy, they said.
The CCP plans to spread propaganda blasting Taiwan for lacking vaccines while boasting of China’s five domestic options, including one approved by the WHO, and the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine, the official said.
Certain media are sure to stir discontent by emphasizing that Taiwanese traveling to China do not need to quarantine, but must isolate for 14 days upon their return, they added.
From this, the CCP hopes to pressure the government into acknowledging Chinese vaccines and shortening quarantine times, they said.
It also hopes that its shorter quarantine requirements would encourage Kinmen and Matsu residents to pressure the government into reopening the “small three links,” the official said.
In addition, Beijing is likely to remove quarantine requirements for Taipei city officials to attend the twin cities forum in Shanghai this year, the official said.
Its “united front” ploy is clear, delayed only by a recent uptick in cases, they added.
Individual tourists who arrive in Taiwan from tomorrow are eligible to receive limited-edition lucky bags to mark the Lantern Festival, Tourism Administration officials said yesterday. The Lantern Festival-themed lucky bags each contain a Year of the Dragon red envelope, a mini lantern, a NT$300 coupon for an amusement park ticket and a NT$500 Taiwan PASS coupon, the officials said. To get a lucky bag, visitors must present a passport or residence certificate and proof of their date of entry at a tourism center at either terminal at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) or Kaohsiung International Airport, they said. The
TAKE PRECAUTIONS: Never hike alone and prepare food, water and appropriate equipment for Taiwan’s mountains, particularly in the winter, officials said Two mountain hikers were rescued yesterday, a day after a body was airlifted out of Yushan National Park, one of several deaths related to mountaineering or hiking in the past two weeks, the Ministry of the Interior said yesterday. A Nantou County mountain rescue team called for a helicopter while responding to a call yesterday morning. They said a woman surnamed Chen (陳), 31, and a man surnamed Lin (林), 32, got lost in the mountains around the Batongguan Historic Trail (八通關古道), while traveling west toward Dongpu Township (東埔). They were directed to a nearby alpine meadow, where the helicopter landed with four
‘CORRECT CALL’: The navy said the captain was right to send crew out to fix an issue with a buoy, and that the buckles connecting two of them to the safety line came loose Equipment and environmental reasons, not human error, were to blame for the loss of three submariners on Dec. 21 last year, the navy said yesterday. The navy would not punish any of the Hai Hu’s (海虎) crew after an investigation determined that the captain was correct in sending crew to retrieve a safety buoy, it said in a news release. Three crew members — a master chief petty officer surnamed Lin (林) and two petty officers surnamed Yen (顏) and Chang (張) — are still unaccounted for after being swept from the submarine’s deck by a wave while trying to retrieve the
A student at a Taichung high school who committed suicide in February last year was bullied by school officials, the school said on Saturday, reversing its previous findings after the student’s father asked that the case be reinvestigated. In a statement, Feng Yuan Senior High School said its latest investigation found that four staff members — the director of student affairs, the chief military instructor and two safety instructors — bullied the student, who killed himself on Feb. 18 last year. That contradicted its previous conclusions that the staff’s actions had not amounted to bullying. The student’s father said his son was subjected