News / Asia

China Campaigns to Win Hearts and Minds in Taiwan

China Campaigns to Win Hearts and Minds in Taiwani
X
February 20, 2014 4:57 PM
Officials from China and Taiwan held historic talks last week, highlights Beijing's growing efforts to win the hearts and minds of the Taiwanese public. VOA's Williaml Ide reports from Beijing.
William Ide
Officials from China and Taiwan held historic talks last week in the southern Chinese city of Nanjing. It was their first formal get together since the end of a civil war over six decades ago. Analysts say the meeting highlights China's growing understanding of the island's politics and increased efforts to win the hearts and minds of the Taiwanese public.
 
In just a week's time, China held its first formal talks with officials from Taiwan and China's president met the honorary chairman of the island's ruling Nationalist Party, Lien Chan.
 
During his meeting with Lien, President Xi Jinping said he respects Taiwan's social system. He also said China is willing to hold equal talks with Taiwan to resolve the two sides' chronic political differences.
 
China is eager to engage Taiwan in political talks and its softer approach in recent years is in sharp contrast to the threats Zhu Rongji hurled at Taiwan's voters in 2000, a race that marked the island's first democratic transition.
 
Jia Qingguo, a political scientist at Peking University, says currently, China's analysis of the political situation in Taiwan is more accurate. It also has more ideas about how to respond to changes in the overall situation in Taiwan.
 
China is not only stepping up its interaction with the ruling party, but is reaching out to Taiwan's opposition as well, which analysts say is perhaps an even bigger development.
 
Just a few weeks before the head of Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council made his historic visit to China, an entourage from former opposition leader Tsai Ing-wen's research group Thinking Taiwan Foundation visited Beijing and had dinner with officials from China's Taiwan Affairs Office.
 
Tsai, the former presidential candidate from the Democratic Progressive Party, did not travel with the group. But representatives from her office did. Antonio Chiang, a former deputy-secretary general of Taiwan's National Security Council, traveled with the group to Beijing.
 
Chiang says Communist China is changing its position and they want to have a more comprehensive dialogue with Taiwan and even with the Democratic Progressive Party. He says that in the past, the opposition wanted to have dialogue with China but could not find opportunities. Now, he says, we have opportunities.
 
Beijing's effort to reach out began before the 2008 elections, when now Nationalist leader Ma Ying-jeou was running against Frank Hsieh. The efforts have picked up since Ma was narrowly re-elected in 2012.
 
Lin Chong-Pin, a former high-ranking official at Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council and deputy defense minister, says such under the surface contacts have been going on for some time.
 
"I have heard from so many sources that his [Frank Hsieh's] lieutenants' went over then and after, either through Hong Kong or through Singapore, and met with officials from China," he said. "And then there was the 2012 event. The competition was very close. And now we're going to see in 2016 presidential election."
 
Lin says Beijing is prepared for the possibility that the ruling party in Taiwan could change again.

Contacts have expanded rapidly since Ma was elected. But at the same time, says political scientist Jia Qingguo, there has not been an increase in support for one China in Taiwan. In fact, he says, support has decreased. Which is something that is worth thinking about.
 
Analysts say that for now, however, Chinese leader Xi Jinping's first priority is a robust reform agenda that the Communist Party outlined late last year. Once Xi has made some progress there, his attention is likely to shift more dramatically to Taiwan.
 
Until then, analysts say, China is preparing for a wide range of possible outcomes. Taiwan holds elections later this year and its next presidential ballot in January of 2016.

You May Like

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As the tumult in the Middle East distracts Obama, shifting American focus eastward appears threatened More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ben from: Australia
February 21, 2014 7:06 PM
@Wangchuk

What you say is factual and to the point. Great comment.


by: Wangchuk from: NY
February 21, 2014 9:54 AM
Here's a suggestion to the PRC to win over the hearts & minds of Taiwanese: stop aiming missiles at Taiwan & threatening to invade if Taiwan exercises self-determination. Also allow Hong Kong to have democracy & stop persecuting dissidents in China, Xinjiang, & Tibet. Respect human rights & media freedon and then you may win more respect from Taiwanese.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Towni
X
Deborah Block
September 21, 2014 2:12 PM
A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid