Taiwan Votes 2024: Beijing watches presidential race, dangling carrots for integration


Despite the criticisms, Mr Chen said he still found his experience studying in China invaluable.

He said that Taiwanese youths need more exposure in order to truly understand China, before passing judgement themselves.

The cross-strait integration plan unveiled by the Chinese State Council is part of China’s longstanding strategy to foster closer ties with Taiwan.

“We will suppress pro-Taiwan independence forces while using a soft approach towards the Taiwanese people,” Professor Li Fei from Xiamen University’s Taiwan Research Center told CNA.

“It is a carrot-and-stick approach. The carrot is to promote cross-strait integration and preferential policies for the Taiwanese.”

He added that despite many Taiwanese opposing reunification after seeing how Hong Kong is governed under the “One Country, Two Systems” principle, there is room for negotiation.

“The conditions for Taiwan’s ‘One Country, Two Systems’ may be discussed. ‘One Country’ is non-negotiable, but ‘Two Systems’ is negotiable. We are constantly adjusting and adapting it,” said Prof Li.

“We have to adapt it according to how we reunify with Taiwan. If it is a peaceful reunification, of course we can discuss the conditions. If it is a non-peaceful reunification, the system may be different.”

BETWEEN WAR AND PEACE

Beijing has framed the upcoming Taiwanese presidential contest as a choice between war and peace.



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