Four departments jointly issued a notice to support Fujian in expanding open cooperation with Taiwan, promoting the Fujian Free Trade Pilot Zone to take the lead in initiatives with Taiwan. What impacts will this bring?

To implement the “Opinions of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council on Supporting Fujian in Exploring a New Path for Cross-Strait Integration and Building a Demonstration Zone for Cross-Strait Integration Development” and to support Fujian in leveraging its unique advantages in relation to Taiwan and further expanding its pioneering demonstration effect on Taiwan, on January 8, 2024, the Ministry of Commerce, the Central Taiwan Affairs Office, the National Development and Reform Commission, and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology jointly issued the “Notice on Several Measures to Support Fujian in Exploring a New Path for Cross-Strait Integration Development in the Economic and Trade Fields.” This notice outlines 14 measures across five aspects:1. Supporting Fujian in expanding cooperation with Taiwan: Promoting the pilot Free Trade Zone in Fujian to take the lead in cooperation with Taiwan, supporting Fujian in utilizing the rules of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and strengthening investment attraction from Taiwan.2. Supporting the high-quality development of trade between Fujian and Taiwan: Enhancing the facilitation of trade between Fujian and Taiwan, supporting Fujian in becoming a trade hub for Taiwan, and exploring new forms of cross-strait service trade cooperation.3. Deepening the integration and development of advantageous industries in both Fujian and Taiwan: Supporting the deepening of industry integration between Fujian and Taiwan, assisting Fujian in building industry clusters, and supporting the construction of platforms for Taiwan-Fujian cooperation.4. Assisting enterprises from Fujian and Taiwan in integrating into the domestic circulation: Promoting the integration of internal and external trade in Fujian, supporting Fujian and Taiwan enterprises in applying for the “old brand” status, and supporting exhibition and exchange activities between Fujian and Taiwan.5. Promoting the accelerated integration and development of key regions: Supporting close trade exchanges between coastal areas of Fujian and Kinmen and Matsu, and strengthening cooperation with Kinmen and Matsu in park construction.These measures will contribute to further strengthening economic and trade exchanges and cooperation between Fujian and Taiwan, deepening cross-strait economic and trade integration development, and enabling Taiwanese businesses and enterprises to better integrate into the new development landscape. The four departments jointly issued the “Notice on Several Measures to Support Fujian in Exploring a New Path for Cross-Strait Integration Development in the Economic and Trade Fields.”

Yesterday, I had lunch with the vice president of a state-owned construction company in Fujian and the vice dean of an architectural institute. They discussed a popular trend in the province over the past two years, which involves initiating construction projects related to Taiwan. These projects include but are not limited to bridges and tunnels connecting Taiwan (including Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu) and various other potential buildings, even some iconic structures within Taiwan, such as government buildings.

I was curious: What’s the use of initiating such projects?

They didn’t know either; it might just be a matter of preparation. The key point is that such initiatives are reportedly always approved, so they have become a trend for handling workloads.

Our consensus was that, in the future, people from Fujian should govern Taiwan.

The Election Results and Fujian’s Role in Cross-Strait Relations

The results of the ww election are about to be announced, and current trends suggest an 80% chance that Lai will win. Lai, nicknamed “Scabby Dog,” is known for his aggressive stance, which is one of the reasons for the recent decline in the Myanmar A market. There is general skepticism about this development.

At this critical moment, China has introduced the “Opinions of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council on Supporting Fujian’s Exploration of New Paths for Integrated Cross-Strait Development and Building a Demonstration Zone for Integrated Cross-Strait Development.” This document is seen as sending a “warm” signal to Taiwan before the election of its provincial governor, indicating a desire for peaceful coexistence, the “One Country, Two Systems” principle, and a wish to promote exchanges and cooperation.

The next step is to see how the other side will respond and act after taking office. At least for now, the signal from our side is one of “peace,” which is significant and rare in the tumultuous year of 2024.

Regarding the document itself, in the first chapter titled “General Requirements”:

It emphasizes Fujian’s unique advantages and pioneering role in relation to Taiwan, advocating the efficient use of resources for deeper integration. It stresses respect, care, and benefits for Taiwanese compatriots, improving policies for their welfare and equal treatment. The document advocates a problem-oriented approach, prioritizing pilot projects, expanding authorization and empowerment, and continually advancing policy and institutional innovation. It calls for a gradual, persistent approach, adapting to local conditions, and encouraging regions with favorable conditions and distinct advantages to take the lead in pilot projects, thus guiding other areas to find their roles and synergize.

In recent times, based on my conversations with friends in Xiamen, there has been a noticeable slowdown in Fujian’s infrastructure investments, largely due to concerns about the situation across the Strait and a consequent pullback in investment. This document signals an expansion, development, and integration, which is positive for Fujian if implemented effectively. It also alleviates concerns, showing that we have made a considerate move, and now it’s up to the other side to respond.

Sure, let’s continue with the favor.

The main issue after the reunification is to address economic concerns, and it will be easier to handle once integrated.

The biggest challenge Taiwan faces after reunification is its economic situation. After the conclusion of the Liberation War, the stability of the domestic economic environment was largely due to Comrade Chen Yun’s success in the economic battle in Shanghai. In the future, Taiwan will face a similar situation. We cannot support tens of millions of people in Taiwan, so it is crucial to develop the local economy. If anyone tries to disrupt us through force, we can deal with them directly, but when it comes to economic disruptions, we will need technical solutions.

The Significance of Kinmen and Matsu in Cross-Strait Relations

My first visit to Xiamen left a lasting impression, not because of Gulangyu Island, but because of Kinmen!

Why, you may wonder?

While on Xiamen Island, looking southeast in the evening, I saw a strip of lights, and my initial reaction was that it was Taiwan Island. I was quite familiar with Taiwan’s location on the map, but I couldn’t believe I was seeing it with my naked eye.

My intuition told me this didn’t make sense because Taiwan Island is approximately 200 kilometers away from Xiamen, and due to the curvature of the Earth, the horizon is usually only about 5 kilometers away.

So, I checked with my phone, and it turned out I was looking at Kinmen, a county of Taiwan.

I then zoomed out the map to understand the relationship between Kinmen and Taiwan Island.

At this point, I’m sure everyone has a similar thought: why didn’t they take Kinmen back then?

I wondered the same.

After some thought, I believe it must have been an unspoken agreement between Chiang and Mao. Why not leave the ongoing issue for future generations to handle?

Which is closer, 5 kilometers or 200 kilometers?

Kinmen is a stepping stone, a step towards the reunification of Taiwan.

It’s also a link, a bridge in cross-strait relations.

As for Matsu, its geographical location is quite similar to Kinmen’s.

Matsu, part of Lienchiang County, is actually under the control of Taiwan. The administrative division of Matsu by Taiwan remains within Fuzhou City, Fujian Province, simply known as Matsu.

From a geographical perspective, Kinmen and Matsu indeed serve as a bridge between the mainland and Taiwan.

Expanding cooperation with Taiwan, starting from the closest geographical locations, is not only convenient but also promotes deeper integration and development.

Deeper integration and development can bring cross-strait relations closer together, paving the way for the peaceful reunification of Taiwan with the motherland.

My body wants to move, but my knees have become accustomed to that position.

Taiwan’s 2024 Elections and Cross-Strait Relations

Pouring cold water first, in the 2024 Taiwan regional elections, the probability of the green camp winning again is high, and Lai Ching-te, a pro-Taiwan independence figure, is likely to be elected. However, as long as he doesn’t take extreme actions (such as referendums), we will most likely exercise restraint. At least in 2024, we still need to continue to prepare.

The Taiwan issue is our absolute core interest and also a core aspect of US-China relations. The cross-strait relationship will be influenced by fluctuations in US-China relations, and we can gauge the situation across the Taiwan Strait from the state of US-China relations. In the latter half of 2023, we can see a relaxation in US-China relations from official media statements. In 2024, compared to external threats, we need to prioritize addressing internal issues. We cannot afford to have domestic troubles while facing external challenges. For the sake of a stable external environment, we must exercise restraint.

In December of last year, the State Council Customs Tariff Commission announced the suspension of tariff reductions for certain products under the “Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement” (ECFA) between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. This is akin to giving a slap to the other side and teaching them a lesson. How much impact does ECFA have on Taiwan’s economy? According to the negotiation results at that time, Taiwan agreed to reduce tariffs on 267 items of early harvest list projects from the mainland, while the mainland agreed to reduce tariffs on as many as 539 items from Taiwan. The mainland’s early harvest list for Taiwan mainly includes small and medium-sized traditional industries, agricultural products, and service trade items, including automobile components, bicycle components, small household appliances, orchids, bananas, tea, and the financial sector, among others.

During the 12 years since the ECFA came into effect in 2011, the annual export value of early harvest goods from Taiwan to the mainland has fluctuated around $20 billion, resulting in annual tariff reductions of $800 million to $1 billion, accumulating to $9.483 billion as of February this year. On the other hand, while the export value of early harvest goods from the mainland to Taiwan has increased somewhat, the tariff reductions have exceeded $100 million in only two years, totaling less than $1 billion in 12 years. Taiwan has gained more benefits from the ECFA than the mainland.

Now, four departments have jointly issued a notice to support Fujian in expanding its opening up and cooperation with Taiwan, which is another olive branch extended to Taiwan. It aims to make Taiwan understand the benefits of win-win cooperation and warns it not to make rash moves.

The motherland must be reunified, and it will inevitably be reunified, but the timing is not yet ripe. If there are no unexpected events, it will be at least until 2027.

Economic Relations Between Taiwan and Mainland China

Without considering the background situation, one might think that Taiwan and Mainland China’s economies are in a harmonious state now.

Throughout the entire discussion, the key phrase is: welcoming Taiwanese businesses to develop in Fujian.

Since acknowledging trade discrimination against Taiwan, Mainland China has largely abandoned its economic support policies for Taiwan.

In the past, to take care of our Taiwanese compatriots, we prioritized buying products from your side with zero tariffs, after all, we are one family.

This resulted in a long-term trade surplus for Taiwan under our care.

Just in 2022, Taiwan earned nearly $200 billion from the Mainland.

However, instead of gratitude, Taiwan’s authorities have shown an ugly face.

They not only restricted the export of Mainland products to Taiwan but also used the money they earned from us to buy weapons and ammunition from the United States, preparing to fight against us.

This is a classic case of “the farmer saves the snake, and the snake bites back.”

We originally thought that the people’s eyes were clear.

But in fact, it’s not just us who have been deceived; Taiwan’s general public has long been influenced by various foreign media and has been straying further away from the right path.

The so-called elections by Taiwan’s authorities will be held soon, and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is likely to win.

This is the current sentiment in Taiwan.

If we still hope they can turn around on their own and achieve a peaceful reunification with “One Country, Two Systems,” it may truly become a legend.

In September, the “Twenty-One Measures” for Taiwan were released, inviting Taiwanese compatriots and businesses to settle in Fujian. At that time, the general view was that Mainland China had made arrangements for Taiwan and was preparing for reunification.

Now, the notification from the four ministries is a further implementation of these measures, with a key emphasis on inviting businesses to come first.

Support Fujian in strengthening the leading and demonstration role of the core area of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, attract Taiwanese industries such as petrochemicals, textiles, machinery, and cosmetics to develop and land in Fujian, and make good use of preferential policies under RCEP and other free trade agreements to expand the international market.

Advantageous enterprises, come on down. The electronics manufacturing industry has already moved to the United States, so whether you come or not doesn’t matter anymore.

Support Fujian-based Taiwanese companies in applying for the title of “Time-Honored Brand.” Support qualified Taiwanese companies in Fujian to apply for the title of “Chinese Time-Honored Brand,” and calculate their development time in both Mainland China and Taiwan.

Taiwan’s time-honored brands, you should quickly move to Fujian, and your time in Taiwan will also be counted. It’s better to be safe than sorry in case of unforeseen events.

In summary, the call in September for the Taiwanese people to settle and work in Fujian, and the invitation to Taiwanese advantage enterprises and long-standing businesses to start businesses in Fujian in January, with policies and treatment unchanged, or even better, means something.

What does it imply?

If you have a bit of intelligence, you should understand what will happen next…

Economic Integration Strategy: Redirecting Taiwan’s Businesses to Fujian

The overarching direction has long been established, and we are proceeding step by step. By suspending preferential treatment for Taiwan, we are now encouraging Taiwanese businesses to set up shop in Fujian, effectively transforming them into Mainland Chinese enterprises. This economic integration takes precedence over political considerations.

Suspending Preferential Treatment for Taiwan:

On December 15, 2023, the Ministry of Commerce issued a public notice regarding the final conclusion of the investigation into trade barriers imposed by Taiwan on the Mainland. It determined that Taiwan’s trade restrictions on the Mainland constituted trade barriers. On the 21st of December, the State Council Customs Tariff Commission released an announcement stating that Taiwan had unilaterally imposed discriminatory measures, such as prohibitions and restrictions, on the export of Mainland products, in violation of the provisions of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. As a result, it decided to suspend tariff reductions for certain products under the ECFA, specifically, starting from January 1, 2024, import products originating from Taiwan in 12 categories, including propylene and ortho-xylene, will no longer enjoy the ECFA tariff rates but will instead be subject to the current relevant regulations.

Redirecting Taiwanese Businesses to Fujian:

The Chinese government is not blocking the path for the Taiwanese people; it is blocking the path of Taiwan independence. It is opening a door for Taiwanese businesses to voluntarily come and develop, while adhering to international rules such as RCEP.

Taiwanese businesses are encouraged to use their advantages to transfer their industries to the Mainland as much as possible, forming an integration of the industrial chains between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait to counter international competition, sanctions, wars, and other crises. High-tech and advanced manufacturing Taiwanese businesses can operate in the Mainland and internationally under two identities, effectively addressing the impact of the U.S. crackdown on Chinese companies. Instead of letting Taiwan’s manufacturing industry entirely shift to Europe, the United States, and Southeast Asia, it is better to form an industrial cluster with Fujian enterprises, promoting the integration and development of the business communities on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, following the centuries-old tradition of cooperation among Fujian businesses.

Supporting Taiwanese businesses in Fujian to apply for the title of “Time-Honored Brand” means that when Taiwanese enterprises with long-standing reputations come, they are not newcomers but genuine Fujian “Time-Honored Brands.” This is beneficial for small and medium-sized service-oriented old enterprises from Taiwan to settle and survive in Fujian.

Promoting the actual economic integration of Kinmen and Matsu with neighboring economies.

Letting Taiwan independence remain an empty political slogan and cultural manipulation, while economic independence becomes a bubble, is part of our strategy. At the same time, it helps to plan ahead to minimize losses for Taiwanese businesses in the process of accelerating the full package delivery. Those who do not embark on this path now should not lament their fate in the future.

Emphasizing Freedom and Friendship through Open Cooperation

These friendly words can be summarized as “the five things that should have always been.”

Let’s not discuss whether it’s Taiwan or not for now.

So, why should it be the Fujian Free Trade Zone? Why not another region?

Do you remember Shenzhen back in the day? It was a special economic zone connected to Hong Kong.

The key to success in Shenzhen’s early days was not just establishing a convenient special zone but more about supply and demand relationships. What does that mean?

What were the attributions of Shenzhen’s success back then?

It was… Let’s see if the other side can do it! Let’s develop the land a bit and grant some power for experimentation?

Later on, the participants, the builders, directly adopted the Hong Kong model, and policies followed suit.

So, what do you think the other side sees in you?

In essence, it’s about what we had here 30-40 years ago that made the world envy us—population. With a large population, the corporate sector, government sector, and financial sector have the foundation to generate revenue from people.

Companies for profit, governments for taxes, and financial institutions participating in wealth distribution—a game of allocation.

So, what’s the supply and demand here? It’s: you provide the people, and the other side provides the finance.

However, the factors that made a region stand out in the past are steadily disappearing. Although we now have more technology and finance than before, the most crucial element, “population,” is dwindling. Some say, even if we do this, Taiwan won’t benefit because it’s not as developed as we are.

Here, you can try to combine economic and political objectives!

What do we really want? Perhaps something similar to Hong Kong’s outcome, and the economic weight in between is just for incremental optimization of import-export data. So, the plan is to achieve a win-win!

Can this happen? It still requires people as intermediaries. Even if one side has a better economy, people will still make choices! If we exclude the profit-seeking nature of humans, this can only be a complementary vision!

After all, it’s highly likely that those inside may not want to leave, thinking there’s no money to be made, and those outside may not want to come, considering it’s not the optimal choice.

Preparations for Integration: Bringing Taiwan into the Mainland’s Fold

This is preparation for integration before unification, aiming to quickly incorporate Taiwan into the larger family of the mainland:

  1. Using Fujian as the gateway and hub for Taiwan, fully leveraging Fujian’s geographical advantage in proximity to Taiwan, and intensifying efforts to attract investment and promote cross-strait trade. This is aimed at increasing Taiwan’s sense of attachment to the mainland.

  2. Deepening the integration of Taiwan’s advantageous industries with the mainland, closely merging Taiwan’s advantageous industries into the mainland, creating synergy to enable these industries to feel the warmth of the mainland as soon as possible.

  3. Promoting the swift integration of Taiwanese companies into the mainland’s domestic circulation, advancing the integration of Taiwanese enterprises with domestic enterprises, and allowing them to benefit from the protection and advantages offered by the mainland as soon as possible.

  4. Promoting economic and trade exchanges in key regions such as Kinmen and Matsu, gradually incorporating them into Fujian’s overall economic development plan, and enabling them to experience the convenience and sense of belonging offered by the mainland as soon as possible.

In summary, regardless of whether the Green Camp or Blue Camp wins in the upcoming election or if foreign forces intervene in the Taiwan Strait situation, the pace of the reunification of the motherland will not change or stagnate. It will continue to unfold and progress according to the established plan.

One Country, Two Systems will not be implemented in Taiwan.

If Fujian fails to seize this opportunity, it will really be a missed chance.

Taiwan’s Changing Sentiments: A Look at the Veterans' Return Home

To be honest, we have always approached Taiwan with sincerity. However, the current sentiments in Taiwan towards mainland China have been growing increasingly hostile, and anti-mainland sentiment among the general public has reached an unprecedented level!

Indeed, the current popular opinion in Taiwan overwhelmingly resists reunification, even though the group demanding immediate independence is not particularly large. On the contrary, those who support reunification are few and far between, especially among the younger generation!

The “pro-unification” camp in Taiwan is extremely aged, and it includes a significant number of so-called “blue unification” advocates.

Consider this: Separation between Russia and Ukraine has only been for a little over thirty years, and yet the resistance faced by Russian forces in Ukraine is beyond imagination.

Now, think about the fact that there has been estrangement between Taiwan and mainland China for over seventy years, and the number of people who still identify with the concept of “Chinese” is decreasing day by day.

In other words, the “pro-unification” sentiment in Taiwan is essentially withering away. For the people of Taiwan and the indigenous population, it is challenging to invoke a deep sense of identity that is “blood is thicker than water” with the mainland. Moreover, those who are most ardent about reunification, to a considerable extent, are former Kuomintang (KMT) veterans and some of their descendants who retreated to Taiwan in the past.

Even though their notion of “unification” may differ from ours (many of them are so-called “blue unification” supporters who do not recognize the People’s Republic of China), at least they oppose “Taiwan independence.”

In 1987, mainland China’s reform and opening-up and Taiwan’s “democratization” drew the world’s attention. Everyone was closely watching the historic changes happening between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, discussing the future of cross-strait relations.

Taiwanese veterans returning home became Chiang Ching-kuo’s “political front-runners,” playing the role of “ambassadors” in Taiwan’s efforts to improve relations with the mainland.

Not many people know how much courage it took to “return home” in those special years.

In 1949, more than two million Kuomintang military and political personnel retreated to Taiwan. Over 38 years, “how many homes were filled with sorrow over the white-haired, how many wives waited year after year with empty beds, how many sons and daughters did not know the fate of their fathers, how many strangers dreamed of the motherland night after night.”

During the following 38 years, Taiwan’s strict political environment silenced the million “mainlander” voices who had “lost their homeland.” When veterans wanted to communicate with their families, they had to rely on others to drop sealed envelopes into mailboxes when passing through Hong Kong, Japan, or the United States, hoping to receive news from their homeland someday.

Jiang Sizhang, who lived in Ningbo and Zhoushan, is a typical veteran. In 1950, at the age of less than 14, he was conscripted by the Kuomintang on his way home from school and transported to Taiwan a week later.

After arriving in Taiwan, he was publicly humiliated, punished, transferred, and even faced military court-martial because he repeatedly expressed his desire to go home. Jiang Sizhang was the youngest among the mainland soldiers, and he served for 10 years before he was 24 and could pursue education and career opportunities in Taiwan. But many older veterans who left the military had no means to support themselves. The homesickness spread in the simple huts of the military dependents' villages.

Jiang Sizhang, determined to help veterans find a “way home,” used all his connections and resources, including his classmates' aunts, nightclub hostesses, and Hong Kong residents with the same surname as his mother, to try to return to the mainland.

In 1982, after recognizing a stranger as his “Hong Kong uncle,” he returned to Ningbo after 32 years in the name of visiting Hong Kong.

On the dock, Jiang Sizhang recognized his mother, who was already 70 years old, at a glance, and they hugged each other, both in tears. In the following years, he helped several times to find relatives of his comrades who had been conscripted in Zhoushan. However, with 20,000 comrades in Zhoushan alone, it was not easy to find relatives in the vast sea of people.

Jiang Sizhang did not want to see the disappointed looks of his comrades again, and he was determined to stand up and fight for the interests of all veterans!

In April 1987, Jiang Sizhang, He Wende, and other veterans established the “Association for the Promotion of Visits to the Mainland by Mainlander Families,” and on Mother’s Day, veterans took to the streets to distribute flyers titled “We Have Been Silent for 40 Years.”

In May, veterans took to the streets and organized a massive protest march at the “Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall” in Taipei. They wore “homesick” T-shirts, raised slogans, clashed with the police, and shed tears, all in an emotional display. When other people saw this, they were deeply moved.

(“They conscripted us to serve in the military, now they’re sending us back home”)

On October 15th, under public pressure, the Taiwan “Executive Yuan” passed the “Taiwan Area People’s Visit to the Mainland Regulations.” Ordinary people could return to their hometowns on the mainland once a year for up to three months in the name of visiting relatives.

In Taiwan, 100,000 applications for visits were filled out in less than half a month. In mainland China, newspapers across the country published columns for finding relatives, and heartwarming stories of Taiwanese veterans looking for their families were extensively reported.

However, not all veterans could “return to their roots.”

The story of veteran Zhou Guanming is even more complicated. He was conscripted by the Kuomintang at the age of 16, surrendered during the Korean War, and became a prisoner of war of the People’s Liberation Army. After 51 years, he was repatriated to Taiwan after being captured by American forces during the Korean War. For the next 40 years, there was no news of him, and his family only knew that he had gone to Taiwan.

It wasn’t until his father’s death that Zhou Qingping, who lived in a rural area of Hubei, learned that he had an uncle in Taiwan. In 1991, at the age of 60, Zhou Guanming returned home and was treated as a fatherly figure.

During his brief visit, Zhou Qingping mentioned to him the family’s financial difficulties due to being unable to afford school fees, leading to his son dropping out of school. Zhou Guanming immediately offered to pay for his grandson’s education.

In 1996, Zhou Guanming returned home to visit again, and the family’s financial situation had improved. He suggested that he should return to his old home in Hubei for retirement. However, veteran Zhou Guanming said that Hubei was too cold and that he would settle in a southern city when the opportunity arose.

While Zhou Mingyang, his grandson, was in college, he discovered a secret about his grandfather’s life of loneliness: there was a huge tattoo on Zhou Guanming’s back that said “Anti-Communist and Anti-Russia.”

In the prisoner of war camps in Korea, Kuomintang agents used various means to “force back to Taiwan” the “stubborn elements” among the volunteer soldiers. This tattoo became a lifelong grudge for the veteran, and even if the two sides were to open up, he could only remain lonely and dare not return home.

In 2007, Yang Ming bought a house in Guangzhou to prepare to bring his grandfather back home. However, when he contacted the Taiwan authorities, he found out that his grandfather had developed “senile dementia,” and the Taiwan authorities refused to release him on the grounds that the person “could not express his own thoughts.”

In 2010, Yang Ming went to Taiwan to visit his grandfather under the pretext of tourism, and he could no longer recognize Yang Ming. However, the photos of him and his mother were hung by the bedside. The tattoo on his grandfather’s back was washed away with sulfuric acid, and Yang Ming knew that his grandfather was prepared to go home.

In March 2014, Yang Ming found a charity foundation in Shenzhen, hoping they could assist in the procedures for traveling to Taiwan. During the process of handling the travel procedures, Zhou Guanming passed away on May 13th in Taiwan.

His ashes were placed in the military cemetery of New Taipei City, and even though it was nearby, Yang Ming could not bring his ashes back to the mainland.

In Zhou Guanming’s presence, hundreds of small compartments in the New Taipei City cemetery held the ashes of countless single, deceased veterans. They spent their lives alone without relatives or descendants, and even in the shadow of generations, they “forever lost” their homeland.

More than 70 years ago, two million veterans ended up in Taiwan, becoming “foreigners in a foreign land.” Most of them could only bury their bones in a foreign land.

Today, the veterans are no longer young, and some of them have passed away. However, in Taiwan, there are still those who claim to “establish independence” without hesitation, willing to “rob the west to fill the east” and attempt to split the motherland.

Some people wave the flag of “democracy and freedom” on the surface, chanting their “political correctness” at every opportunity, completely ignoring the national pain and becoming a laughingstock to the world.

To restrict the right of veterans to return home, to remain silent as a group in order to fight for “freedom,” and to waste the precious years of these veterans for the sake of “democracy.”

Little do they know that for the Chinese, returning home is the greatest “political correctness.”

Today’s younger generation in Taiwan, regardless of political affiliation, largely lacks the emotions mentioned above!

When we are faced with a hostile armed force that does not identify with the concept of “Chinese,” we need to be psychologically prepared for a tough battle.


  • Meng Hong’s “Insider Story of a Million Veterans Returning Home”
  • Sun Chunlong’s “Veteran Zhou Guanming: Unable to Return Home After Death”
  • Shi Yonggang and Fang Xu’s “Portrait of Chiang Ching-kuo”

Closing the ECFA Door but Leaving a Window Open: A Message to Taiwanese Expatriates

When the time came to terminate the ECFA agreement, it was not the high-tech companies like those in Hsinchu producing computer chips that were most affected in Taiwan, but rather the essential products such as pineapples and grouper fish.

For years, under the ECFA agreement, Taiwan opened its market to mainland China by allowing duty-free access to 269 products while restricting 2,509 others. Of the 269 duty-free products, none included any mainland agricultural products; instead, they primarily comprised chemical products.

Mainland China purchased Taiwanese agricultural products at high prices, allowing Taiwanese farmers to earn profits. However, mainland Chinese farmers could not enter the Taiwanese market.

Notably, since the signing of the ECFA agreement, mainland China has granted Taiwan duty-free access worth 8.5 billion US dollars, equivalent to over 270 billion New Taiwan Dollars. The annual production value of Taiwanese grouper fish has increased from 3.8 billion New Taiwan Dollars to 8.4 billion New Taiwan Dollars, making it the world’s leading industry in the grouper fish sector.

Within the ECFA framework, Taiwan has reduced taxes to mainland China by a cumulative 120 million US dollars.

85 billion vs. 1.2 billion. Who benefits from whom? Who resents whom, and who is more straightforward?

Mainland China offers favorable conditions to attract Taiwanese businesses, but it is challenging for mainland Chinese investments to enter Taiwan. Companies like iQiyi, Taobao, Huawei, and ZTE have either been expelled by the Taiwanese authorities or faced sanctions. Apps like Xiaohongshu and TikTok have also been banned.

In 2023, Taiwan’s Evergreen Marine Corporation lost orders worth billions of US dollars, including tens of thousands of twenty-foot equivalent unit containers, LNG carriers, and dual-fuel cruise ships, all of which were awarded to South Korea, bolstering the South Korean shipbuilding industry in 2023. China has now become a shipbuilding giant, offering competitive prices and excellent terms. Major shipping companies like MSC are all seeking opportunities with Jiangnan Shipyard. Due to scheduling considerations, these giants typically split orders and do not award them to a single shipyard.

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has a clear stance.

Among the 2,509 mainland Chinese products explicitly banned by Taiwan, only 22 have been declared to the WTO. Over 2,400 have not been declared because it is clear that they cannot be submitted, and even if they are, they cannot pass.

On the Taiwan side, rather than military deterrence, there is greater concern about mainland China terminating the ECFA agreement. The military threat is either a long-standing issue or has been brainwashed into people. Don’t worry; there’s still the United States and Japan to rely on.

The saying goes, “When Taiwan has a problem, just say Japan has a problem.”

However, the termination of the ECFA agreement would truly shatter the livelihoods of the people in Taiwan. This impending crisis is imminent, and Taiwanese people are extremely anxious. Just take a look at the Japanese scallops, and you’ll understand. In reality, it’s challenging to find a market as accommodating as mainland China, and the Taiwanese grouper fish industry, for example, has every reason to be concerned.

Leave a window open; after all, Fujian is well-prepared, and the construction of the Pingtan Economic Zone is on track. The policies are in place, and the market is ready. Let’s see how the Taiwanese expatriates from Tainan choose their path.

Siege the city from below, and capture the hearts from above.

After all these years, what’s the rush?

Balancing the Tightening and Loosening of Taiwan Policy: The Need for Consistency

Recently, there has been a fluctuation in Taiwan policy, with both tightening and loosening measures being implemented. However, this inconsistency can undermine the effectiveness, credibility, and execution of these policies, ultimately preventing them from achieving their intended outcomes.

Firstly, it’s essential to recognize that both loosening and tightening Taiwan policies have their advantages and disadvantages. There is no perfect solution, so whether it’s opening up to Taiwan or imposing restrictions, both can be justified. It’s crucial to acknowledge the pros and cons of each approach and accept the corresponding negative impacts.

Secondly, in the current phase, neither opening up nor tightening Taiwan policies will come at Taiwan’s expense. Tightening the policy might generate discord and unfriendly sentiments from Taiwan, while enhancing it may be perceived as minor favors. In this context, it’s essential not to dwell on the downsides of the policies or constantly shift between them. Instead, a consistent approach should be taken to ensure positive benefits, even in the face of inevitable negative consequences.

Attempting to mitigate the downsides of policies by vacillating between them not only fails to gain Taiwan’s approval but also reduces the efficiency of policy execution, significantly diminishing the positive outcomes.

Currently, the mainland’s economy is facing relatively severe challenges, with industry contraction and vulnerabilities in the capital market. Other markets, while experiencing industrial shrinkage, have seen a turnaround in their capital markets compared to the downturn in 2022. Although this growth, somewhat detached from economic expansion, carries risks and speculative elements, it is valuable and positive for active capital and enhanced resident confidence.

Given this situation, Taiwan is less likely to be swayed by mainland China, regardless of whether the policies are loosened or tightened. Neither approach will win Taiwan’s favor or attract capital and industries from Taiwan. However, the mainland’s vacillation in its Taiwan policy will make the implementing authorities apprehensive, significantly weakening the policy’s effectiveness.

This vacillation is not limited to Taiwan policies but is prevalent in today’s economic activities. Frequent changes and uncertainty in policies make it more challenging for capital investment and industry expansion. Market sentiment remains cautious until the policy direction becomes clear. Consequently, economic activity languishes, and recovery becomes sluggish.

Recognizing shortcomings is not a negative but a positive step. Only by acknowledging and addressing these issues can progress be made. If one insists on ignoring problems and resorts to painkillers or supplements without recognizing the underlying issues, recovery becomes increasingly distant.

The spirit of reform and opening up lies in pragmatism. The success of reform and opening up has been achieved by recognizing and addressing deficiencies. If we discard this valuable experience, the pace of development and marginal efficiency will gradually decline.

Taiwan is also an integral part of Fujian Province.

Mainland brothers, may I ask if the location confirmation is in Xiamen?

Which one is better, Weihai vs. Xiamen vs. Shenyang…

Still in a dilemma… my company’s concern.

Taiwan Integration with Fujian Province: A Closer Look

It appears that the intention is to encourage Taiwan to fully integrate with Fujian Province in the future.

Last year, the official stance was to “encourage Taiwanese compatriots to apply for Taiwan resident residence permits, allowing them to settle down in Fujian as much as they wish.”

This year, there are sanctions on various industries in Taiwan and efforts to connect with Fujian Province to support Taiwanese companies' development in Fujian. This suggests a desire to relocate both the people and industries from Taiwan to Fujian.

Recently, there has also been a focus on addressing the challenges faced by Taiwan.

From these developments, it becomes apparent that the official plan for Taiwan’s future is to integrate and develop together with Fujian Province. Whether the people of Taiwan are willing remains uncertain, but the official planning seems to be heading in that direction.

Easing Residency for Taiwanese in Fujian

Last year, there was talk of canceling temporary registration for Taiwanese in Fujian, making it easier for them to live there. It also encouraged Taiwanese residents to apply for Taiwan resident residence permits. The goal is to make it easy for them to settle down in Fujian, with the aim of achieving equal convenience between Taiwan resident residence permits and mainland resident identity cards in social applications.

It also encouraged Taiwanese residents to buy houses in Fujian, improving systems for employment, healthcare, housing, elderly care services, and social assistance for Taiwanese compatriots in Fujian. They will be integrated into the mainland’s social security system in accordance with laws and regulations.

This makes it clear that there is a conscious effort to encourage Taiwanese residents to settle in Fujian.

Blueprint for Accepting Taiwanese Residents and Industries

There is already a rough template for accepting Taiwanese residents and industries.

First, there is a consideration of the cultural similarities between them and Fujian Province, so integration in this aspect is emphasized.

It specifically mentions settlement, study, employment, business, and support for agriculture and fisheries.

Financial support is also mentioned, and those who seize these opportunities are likely to receive significant support and benefits.

However, most people will likely adopt a wait-and-see approach and have concerns about potential differences in their quality of life.

Deepening Economic Integration Across the Taiwan Strait

This time, the focus is mainly on economic and trade areas, deepening integration across the Taiwan Strait.

  1. Promoting Fujian’s pilot free trade zone to lead the way for Taiwan.
  2. Supporting Fujian’s role as the core area of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, attracting projects from Taiwan’s petrochemical, textile, machinery, and cosmetics industries to settle and develop in Fujian.
  3. Supporting Fujian in attracting investment from Taiwan.
  4. Facilitating investment from Taiwan in Fujian.
  5. Supporting high-quality trade development between Fujian and Taiwan.
  6. Exploring and promoting the development of offshore trade in Fujian, including finance, service optimization, information platform construction, and nurturing business entities.
  7. Building a trade hub for Taiwan in Fujian.
  8. Strengthening cooperation and exchanges in culture, creativity, tourism, digital economy, logistics, traditional Chinese medicine, and other fields between Fujian and Taiwan.
  9. Promoting industrial integration between Fujian and Taiwan.
  10. Leveraging Fujian’s advantages in digital economy, integrated circuits, new energy, lithium batteries, petrochemicals, textiles, and apparel to foster integrated development between Fujian and Taiwan.
  11. Supporting Taiwan companies in Fujian to actively participate in the new industrialization process.
  12. Supporting the construction of cooperation platforms between Fujian and Taiwan.
  13. Assisting Taiwan companies in Fujian to integrate into the domestic circulation.
  14. Strengthening cooperation with Kinmen and Matsu in the development of industrial parks.

This comprehensively covers various industries, accelerating the integration of Taiwan’s economy and Fujian. Increased collaboration and migration of people will help address many issues more effectively.

Unification: A Matter of Time and Approach

It’s widely understood that eventual reunification is the goal; the only questions are when and how.

Using Fujian as a starting point for Taiwanese to integrate into mainland Chinese culture step by step, achieving peaceful reunification without conflict is the desired outcome.

Peaceful reunification is a shared aspiration.

A New Approach to Taiwan Policy

Recent tightening of the Taiwan policy implies a shift from the previous approach of unilateral benefits to Taiwan.

Now, the focus is on pushing Taiwan to shift its industries and people gradually to Fujian. This marks a new direction in the policy.

Giving benefits to Taiwan doesn’t seem to yield favorable responses, and it often leads to more complications. From 2010 to 2023, Taiwan was granted tariff exemptions exceeding 40 billion RMB, but it didn’t result in significant advantages. Therefore, there is now a shift towards investigating trade barriers.

Dealing with pro-independence forces is essential, and a “poor Taiwan policy” is necessary to change the approach.

A change in strategy is indeed required.

Words of comfort: This is the last chance for Taiwanese capital.

To put it bluntly: What else can be done if not like this?

Embracing High Praises, It’s Confusing: Understand the Original Message Before Speaking Up

Fujian’s efforts to attract investments from Taiwan and promote integration between businesses in the two regions is indeed a positive development. Everyone understands that even in times of conflict, financial considerations are paramount. Businesses are significant contributors to taxation, and entrepreneurs often wield political influence behind the scenes, as seen in capitalist countries like the United States.

Bringing your capital to mainland China and aligning your economic interests is undoubtedly a better option than fleeing to the United States, Japan, or Southeast Asia when faced with uncertainties or threats from local authorities.

Supporting Taiwanese businesses and enterprises in better integrating into the new development landscape

Listening to this statement, it implies that if you want to thrive, you need to expand your horizons and become part of mainland China. Otherwise, you may find your options limited, leading to unfavorable outcomes.