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Taiwan expects China to step up 'unification' propaganda in 2022

Cross-strait bases in 81 Chinese locations will play crucial role in propaganda efforts

The flags of China and Taiwan. 

The flags of China and Taiwan.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — In the post-COVID era, China will step up both its online and in-person "unification" propaganda targeting Taiwan, the Cabinet said Tuesday (Jan. 4).

In a report presented to the Legislative Yuan, the Cabinet singled out local cross-strait exchange bases across China as instruments for Beijing’s campaign, CNA reported. The communist government started establishing the units in 2009, and since then, 81 have opened.

China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) is using the bases to boost contacts with Taiwan while pushing its own narrative emphasizing cultural, religious, historical, and ethnic ties, the Cabinet’s report said.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has made direct contact and travel more difficult, China turned to the internet to promote its cause via video conferences, according to the report. The “cloud exchanges” between bases in China and private associations in Taiwan are likely to grow more intensive and are worthy of attention, Taiwan’s government said.

When the pandemic subsides, Beijing will likely step up its unification propaganda campaigns by reverting to in-person contacts, exchanges and trips, though the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) will closely monitor developments, the report said.