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.
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