Pro-Beijing Taiwanese politicians seek rapprochement with China

On April 29 James Soong (宋楚瑜), a Taiwanese politician and chairman of the People First Party (親民黨), told China’s state-run news agency Xinhua that he supports the 1992 consensus and the one-China policy.

Soong travelled to Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China to hold talks with local politicians.

Pro-independence demonstration in Taipei, Taiwan

“[B]oth sides agree on the one-China principle and the pursuit of unification,” Soong told China’s state media reporters in Shenzhen, referring to the 1992 consensus, an unofficial understanding between the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the Guomindang that there is only one China in the world and Taiwan is part of it.

“The People First Party has a very clear stance,” Soong said. “We support [the principle that] there is one China on both sides, that the mainland is part of China and Taiwan is also part of China, and that aiming at a unified China is the common responsibility of all Chinese on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.”

Soong praised Chinese leader Xi Jinping‘s January speech on the need for Taiwan to be “reunified” with China on the basis of the “one country, two systems” framework which was implemented in the former British colony of Hong Kong and the former Portuguese colony of Macau.

At the end of March Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), the recently elected Mayor of the southern Taiwanese city of Kaohsiung, drew criticism for visiting Hong Kong, Macau, Shenzhen and Xiamen.

On April 29, Guomindang presidential runner and founder of tech giant Foxconn Kuo T’ai-ming blamed the current administration of President Ts’ai Ing-wen for “overblowing” the China threat and harming the economic interets of Taiwan.

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) claims that Taiwan is part of its territory and has not renounced the use of force to bring about “reunification.”

“The two sides of the Taiwan Strait have been divided for 70 years, [China’s] opening up and exchange [with Taiwan] has been going on for 30 years,” Kuo wrote in a Facebook post. “The ancestors of many [Taiwanese] come from the other side of the Strait and have successively arrived in this land, some people arrived thousands of years ago, some people arrived hundreds of years ago, others arrived decades ago. The only difference between them is the time when they came here. Regardless of their origins, now they are all proud citizens of the Republic of China, they live in Taiwan, they all do their best, they all created the Taiwan economic miracle. We are all one team, the team of the Republic of China!”

“Chinese don’t hurt Chinese,” Kuo added, quoting Xi Jinping’s speech. “Pay attention, I am not just telling this to our own people, I am telling this to China, to Xi Jinping, to Trump, and to the whole world!”

The Chinese Communist Party has been pursuing a united front strategy to co-opt Taiwanese politicians as well as business people with economic interests in China. It has also sought ties with organized crime. In 2016, the Guomindang was defeated in the Taiwanese presidential elections after its rapprochement with Beijing led to mass protests.


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