China’s Fujian Province on Monday began implementing 15 economic measures targeting Taiwanese in its latest bid to fan pro-Beijing sentiment ahead of the Jan. 13 elections.
Chinese state-run Xinhua news agency said the policies were part of “21 measures” unveiled in September by China for Fujian’s “integrated cross-strait development demonstration zone.”
The partially implemented measures, which were created with input from Beijing, include reducing the wait time for Taiwanese applying for a visa from 20 days to five days and free public transit for Taiwanese older than 65, it said.
Residents of Taiwan were granted use of the “all provincial Taiwanese entrepreneur compatriot financial and credit certification online management platform,” Xinhua said.
Agricultural loans for Taiwanese farmers were enhanced, while a patent scheme was established for businesses based in Kinmen or Lienchiang counties, or otherwise registered in China’s Fujian province, it said.
The measures also included rent waivers and housing subsidies for start-ups, with 2,000 housing units supposedly being offered at prioritized locations, with expanded recognition of Taiwanese professional certificates, it said.
A program was created to support 100 collaborative projects between Taiwanese and Chinese by furnishing subsidies to architects and creative industries, with three template counties, 13 template townships and 13 template villages to receive money starting next year, it said.
The measures also include the creation of a Taiwan-China maritime dispute resolution center in the province, it added.
Previously, the Mainland Affairs Council described the measures as part of an “integration plan” for annexing Taiwan that was created by the Chinese Communist Party’s 20th National Congress.
The policies were an expression of China’s “wishful thinking” that it could lure Taiwanese and Taiwanese businesses into placing themselves under China’s legal and institutional control, which ultimately means accepting communist rule, the council said.
Beijing’s ability to make good on the economic promises of the 21 measures are questionable in light of China’s economic doldrums, including a collapsing housing market, youth unemployment, weak consumer spending and systemic risks in its financial sector, it said.
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