China’s ’26 measures’ seek to influence elections: Taiwan government

Taipei-The "26 measures" announced by China Monday, which claim to treat Taiwanese the same as their Chinese counterparts, is nothing but a ploy to divide Taiwanese people and an attempt to influence the outcome of the January 2020 presidential and legislative elections, the Presidential Office said.

Presidential Office spokesman Ting Yun-kung (???) said the newly-announced measures are China's plan to sell its "one country, two systems" formula to the Taiwanese people.

These measures will do little to actually benefit Taiwanese people and serve mainly as a political means to influence Taiwan's elections results, Ting noted.

The Taiwan government reiterated its stance that Beijing should engage in positive exchanges with Taiwan for cross-strait peace and stability, instead of launching another round of "favorable policies" focused on Taiwanese, according to Ting.

Ting was referring to the "26 measures" announced by China's Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) earlier in the day.

According to the TAO, these measures, which took immediate effect, are designed to share "the Mainland's development opportunities with Taiwan compatriots and provide them with equal treatment."

The "26 measures" are a supplement to and improvement on the "31 measures" unveiled by the Chinese government last year in an effort to give Taiwan residents who study and work on the mainland the same treatment as mainland residents, the TAO said.

Half of the new measures are for Taiwan-funded companies operating in China, allowing them to take part in the construction of major technical equipment, 5G, civil aviation and other projects, and giving them equal access to financing, trade relief, and import and export facilitations, in China.

The rest of the measures are for Taiwan residents living on the Mainland, providing more convenience in transportation, housing and the evaluation of professional titles, the TAO said.

In a separate press release, Taiwan's top policymaking body on China, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), said the main purpose of the "26 measures" is to promote China's goal of unification with Taiwan.

These so-called "favoring Taiwan efforts" are also contradicted by Beijing's years-long suppression of the country by snatching away its diplomatic allies; suppressing its international space; and military exercises in the Taiwan Strait, the MAC statement said.

Reiterating the Taiwan government's rejection of the "one country, two systems" formula, the MAC said it will continue to follow-up on how exactly these measures are to be implemented and if they could cause further risk to Taiwanese living and working in China.

"One country, two systems" refers to a constitutional principle formulated by former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping (???) during the early 1980s, who suggested that there would be only one China, but distinct Chinese regions such as Hong Kong and Macau could retain their own economic and administrative systems.

Meanwhile, Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) also rejected one of the 26 measures which stipulates that Taiwan citizens can ask for consular assistance from People's Republic of China (PRC) overseas embassies and representative offices should they encounter emergencies.

MOFA spokeswoman Joanne Ou (???) said the Republic of China (Taiwan) is a sovereign state. Its overseas offices and embassies will take care of its nationals and it is none of the PRC's business, she added.

Asked to comment, Taiwan Thinktank researcher Tung Li-wen (???) told CNA that the latest "26 measures" build on the "31 measures" announced in February 2018.

Both sets of measures are meant to create a pro-cross-strait unification atmosphere by promising Taiwanese people the same rights enjoyed by their Chinese counterparts.

In reality, these measures which are a mixture of "carrot and stick" have little actual effect in improving the livelihood of Taiwanese living in China, he noted.

Tung said it is likely Beijing will offer more incentives targeting Taiwanese ahead of the nation's Jan. 11 elections.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel