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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Biden to lift sanctions on China in exchange for third promise to combat fentanyl
Reportedly President Joe Biden is making deals with Chinese President Xi Jinping to help improve anti-drug trafficking measures. China is one of the top fentanyl producers and distributors, culminating in a pandemic of fentanyl overdoses and deaths in the United States.
The Biden administration will be lifting sanctions on a Chinese government ministry, in exchange for bolstering anti-drug trafficking measures, Bloomberg reported. “We’re hoping to see some progress on that issue this coming week,” National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Monday, according to the New York Post. “That could then open the door to further cooperation on other issues where we aren’t just managing things, but we’re actually delivering tangible results.”
The Daily Caller News Foundation noted that should a deal materialize, it will be at least the third time that China has promised to get tough on fentanyl. In 2016, China agreed to increase counter-narcotics operations, and Xi again agreed to launch a crackdown in 2018. Nonetheless, China and Mexico are “the primary source countries for fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances trafficked directly into the United States,” according to a 2020 DEA intelligence report.
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