China’s new attempt to lure Taiwanese could violate cross-strait agreement

Local authorities are appointing 'Taiwanese sci-tech special commissioners'

A symposium for the election of commissioners in Zhangpu County (Image from

A symposium for the election of commissioners in Zhangpu County (Image from

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Prefectures in China are appointing Taiwanese agricultural commissioners to assist village farming projects, which could be violating the 1992 cross-strait relations act.

CNA reports Taiwanese citizens are being recruited to act as “Taiwanese sci-tech special commissioners” to provide agricultural assistance to farmers in Chinese villages. This latest move follows a series of measures implemented in the southern city of Xiamen and Pingtan County to integrate Taiwanese specialists into state-run community development projects.

Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said working in such positions violates Article 33-2 of the “Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area.”

The act stipulates that any authorities, institutions or legislative organs at any local government level in Taiwan must not coalesce with any local authorities in China without prior consultation with the Ministry of Interior. MAC said it is to review the nature of the new “special commissioner” position.

China first implemented the sci-tech commissioner system in 1999 to encourage new farming technologies to branch out into the countryside, helping to lift rural citizens out of poverty. This year marks the first time Beijing has sought assistance with the project from Taiwanese nationals.

A Fujian Province website bulletin indicates the symposium for the selection of “Taiwanese sci-tech special commissioners” for Zhangpu County took place on January 16. Commissioners will be stationed in villages across the region, it states.

Taiwanese businesspeople were specifically targeted to fill the positions, due to the benefits of “business technology” they can bring to assist agricultural development in rural regions, CNA reports.