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

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter 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.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid