China to continue working on luring Taiwanese talent across strait

A representative said China will 'open wider and wider to Taiwan' amid growing concerns on internal issues

Chinese official Wang Yang

Chinese official Wang Yang (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Chinese politician Wang Yang said at a cross-strait business conference yesterday (Dec. 4) that China will "open wider and wider to Taiwan," with more policies and services to attract Taiwanese entrepreneurs, despite growing concerns over China's various internal issues.

The report comes from Chinese state media, which noted that the annual summit has taken place in the Southeast city of Xiamen—lying just across the coast from Taiwan—since 2009.

According to the report, China will continue to build on its "preferential policies" for Taiwan-funded enterprises.

Earlier this year, Beijing announced "31 measures" to lure Taiwanese investment and talent across the strait, which Premier William Lai (賴清德) warned were sugar-coated attempts to exacerbate Taiwan’s brain drain problem.

A number of local Chinese city councils also announced further favorable policies for Taiwanese businesses and individuals considering making the move, but many observers commented that these measures had backfired, with Taiwanese that were initially attracted to China for economic and business opportunities later repelled by social and environmental conditions.

Additionally, in the past when Beijing has used economic incentives to bait Taiwanese business people across the strait, authorities have later turned on them with targeted harassment programs. During Chen Shui-bien's (陳水扁) presidency, China touted the arrest of many businesspeople under false spying accusations when tensions were at their highest.

Wang added during his speech that China-Taiwan trade continues to rise, “bucking the trend of mounting protectionism and unilateralism.” Taiwanese businesses are still being pushed to move production chains away from China, however, as the country’s economy continues to decline following hard blows from the U.S. trade war.

China has shown little change in its policies towards Taiwan since the nine-in-one elections but continues to emphasize the 1992 consensus.