Beijing planning new approach to Taiwan affairs

Mainland to focus on young people and small businesses after earlier efforts failed to advance its reunification agenda

South China Morning Post
Date: 30 April, 2017
By: Lawrence Chung
Choi Chi-yuk

Beijing has been reviewing its Taiwan policies after they failed to bear fruit and is considering a shake-up of the people in charge of cross-strait relations, sources and experts say.

But analysts in Taiwan say that between 2008 and last year Beijing lost its best chance to engage young Taiwanese and realign their mindset about the island’s historical link with the mainland.

Beijing would have a difficult time turning things around if it believed increasing exchanges with Taiwanese youths and small and medium-sized enterprises would work wonders to solicit their support, they said.

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The new approach has echoes in Beijing’s approach to Hong Kong, where young people increasingly identify themselves as Hongkongers rather than Chinese 20 years after the former British colony’s return to Chinese sovereignty.

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