Want China Times
By: Samuel Hui and Staff Reporter
China’s military parade on Sept. 3 in Beijing to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of
World War II suggests the Communist Party is changing its United Front policy towards Taiwan under the leadership of Xi Jinping.
Unlike the event held 10 years ago to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the defeat of Japan and the end of China’s eight-year war of resistance, very few retired generals of the ROC armed forces were invited from across the Taiwan Strait to attend the parade this year. Very few regular Kuomintang veterans from Taiwan attended this year’s event either. All the guests from Taiwan on Sept. 3 were either leaders of pro-unification political groups, academics or Taiwanese who went to mainland China to fight Japan, Taiwan being a Japanese colony at the time.
While many speculate that the absence of KMT generals and veterans was due to
pressure from Hau Pei-tsun, former ROC premier and head of the country’s armed forces, more notable perhaps was the push by Xi Jinping to include more Taiwanese people descended from those who moved to the island before 1949 in his United Front policy. It is no longer the “mainlanders” who retreated to Taiwan with Chiang Kai-shek in 1949 who are the key targets of Beijing’s campaign for hearts and minds but those whose ancestors settled Taiwan many generations before and who have contributed the most to forging the distinct Taiwanese identity that is now the mainstream in the democratic era.
Lien Chan became the first sitting chair of the KMT to visit mainland China in 2005. The Communist Party, then under the leadership of Hu Jintao, viewed the Taiwan issue as an unresolved problem left over from the civil war and viewed the KMT, formerly its great enemy, as its natural partner. From Beijing’s point of view, the threat was no longer that the KMT might retake the mainland and overthrow it but that the then ruling Democratic Progressive Party might succeed in convincing Taiwan’s public that the shared cultural and historical ties across the strait did not signify the existence of a shared Chinese nation. [FULL STORY]