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

US Firms Concerned About China's New Cyber Regulations

New rules would require technology companies doing business in financial sector to hand over their source code, adopt Chinese encryption algorithms More

WHO Focus on Ebola Shifts to Ending Outbreak

Focus to be less on building facilities and more on efforts to find infected people, manage their cases, engage with communities and ensure proper burials More

US Scientist Who Conceived of Groundbreaking Laser Technology Dies

Charles Townes, Nobel laureate, laser co-creator paved way for other scientific discoveries: CDs, eye surgery, metal cutters to name a few technologies that rely on lasers 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.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid