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China Targets Taiwan’s Youth, Businesses in Charm Offensive

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China’s communist party is engaging in a massive charm offensive to indoctrinate Taiwan’s youth and businesses. This comes amid accusations by China that Taiwan’s young are falling victim to the “military collusion” between the United States and Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

These “cross-strait” exchanges may seem innocuous and benevolent at first. For example, the Ma Ying-jeou Foundation, a Taiwanese group run by the former Kuomingtang (KMT) ex-president of Taiwan, recently finished hosting 37 teachers and students from Chinese universities.

However, China used the visit to meddle in the internal politics of Taiwan. Hao Ping, head of the CCP delegation and Peking University Party Secretary, refer to those associated with the Ma Foundation, and by implication, the opposition KMT, as “Taiwan compatriots,” according to Global Times. Editorials of the cross-cultural event refer to the KMT as the “Chinese Kuomintang party,” erasing the fact that the KMT is a political party in sovereign Taiwan.

Additionally, the CCP hosted a “cross-strait” “symposium” in China, to which it added a heavy dose of propaganda. The title of this symposium – “Chinese modernization and the national rejuvenation” – is revealing of the long game that China is playing. At the event, Song Tao, a CCP official that deals with Taiwan affairs, greeted his Taiwanese guests with a lecture (and a veiled threat) that opposing “Taiwan independence” was necessary to promote “cross-strait” peace. During that lecture, Song also labelled support for Taiwan independence as “separatist activities,” and promoted the oft-repeated canard of “peaceful reunification.”

The CCP also uses “cross-strait” business interactions to peddle CCP propaganda. Song Tao espoused similar propaganda from the symposium above in a business seminar for Taiwanese people that was hosted by the CCP in China. Song also used that seminar to call for “Taiwan compatriots” to move their businesses to China.

There are currently “77 functioning cross-Strait entrepreneurship bases and pilot sites, where young people from Taiwan can enjoy preferential policies to find jobs or start businesses on the mainland,” according to a CCP spokesman handling Taiwan affairs, as reported by Xinhua. According to that spokesman, China has poached about 25,000 Taiwanese to intern, work, and entrepreneur in China through these programs from 2015 through 2022. Efforts to criticize these efforts amount to “rumors fabricated by Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authorities and pro-DPP media outlets,” and reveal “sinister intentions,” according to that spokesman.

And the CCP does not hesitate to use politics as a litmus test to grant or deny access for Taiwanese businesses. China recently lifted a ban on Taiwan’s medical company Skyla, while keeping bans on Hyweb Technology, SkyEyes GPS Technology, and Speedtech Energy. The reason: Skyla apologized for “donat[ing] money to organizations in connection with ‘Taiwan independence,’” while the others had not. The head of Skyla clarified that the company’s previous stance was due to “mismanagement,” and that he supports the “1992 Consensus” [which China interprets as a “One China, Two Systems” policy towards China-Taiwan relations] and opposes Taiwan independence. A CCP spokesman remarked that “We firmly oppose die-hard elements seeking ‘Taiwan independence’ and their funders making profits on the mainland,” sending a clear message that Taiwanese businesses in China must bend the knee to Chinese supremacy.

While China continues to encroach on Taiwan militarily, it is also waging an insidious campaign to win over the hearts and mind of the Taiwanese people. Taiwan and the United States needs to develop sound policy to fight not only Chinese encroachment in Taiwan’s territory, but to also combat the CCP’s growing soft power on the island.

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New documents show China trying to establish ‘satellite state’ in Caribbean

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China has been “exploiting a fragile security environment and taking advantage of the region’s need for economic investment to gain influence and advance its malign agenda” in a move that challenges U.S. hegemony in the Americas, U.S. Southern Command Comm. General Laura Richardson recently told Congress in written testimony.

The Caribbean island nation of Antigua and Barbuda, located about 220 miles from the U.S. Virgin Islands, is where China is planning to establish a special Chinese-run economic zone, according to documents reviewed by Newsweek

Just The News  reports that per the documents, the area will have its own customs and immigration facilities, a shipping port and it will even issue passports. China will also establish different kinds of businesses that will specialize in things from facial surgery to virology, the latter of which is closely associated with the research in Wuhan that is the suspected source of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A spokesperson for SOUTHCOM said that the U.S. military is “aware that China may use its commercial and diplomatic presence for military purposes. In Asia, Africa and the Middle East, China has already abused commercial agreements at host-country ports for military aims; our concern is they may do the same in this region.”

More than two-thirds of the 31 nations under SOUTHCOM’s responsibility have signed onto China’s belt-and-road initiative, which is Beijing’s program to lend money to developing nations to use for infrastructure projects, according to Just The News.

Several nations have had problems with repaying such loans, resulting in Beijing seizing the country’s assets. For example, Sri Lanka struggled to pay back Beijing in 2017 and instead signed off the rights to a strategic port, according to Foreign Policy.

Rep. Eric Burlison, R-Mo., a member of the House Oversight Committee proving China’s incursion inside the U.S. sphere of influence, told Just the News on Monday night that Beijing’s aggression in the Caribbean reminded him of the Soviet’s intervention in Fidel Castro’s Cuba more than a half century earlier.

“It reminds me of Russia’s involvement in Cuba, just 220 miles off the shore of the US Virgin Islands. We have Antigua. It used to be considered the United States back yard. Unfortunately, today, it’s China’s front yard,” Burlison told the “Just the News, No Noise television show. “And China has used the united front to enter into loan agreements and contracts to create trade zones within Antigua in order to gain a foothold into the Caribbean.”

“And this is just part of their efforts around the globe, whether it’s in African countries or Laos. They’re they’re creating a network to try to undermine the U.S. dollar and try to end run around some of our tariffs and other programs,” he warned.

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