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Cross-Strait exchanges urged to boost cultural ties

Updated: Mar 12, 2024 By ZHANG YI and CUI JIA China Daily Global Print
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The Chinese mainland should be vigilant about the pursuit of "de-Sinicization" in the areas of ideology and culture by the Taiwan authorities that aims to sever the island's historical, cultural and ethnic connections with the mainland as it may raise cross-Strait tensions, said the country's top legislators and political advisers during the annual two sessions.

They suggested organizing more cross-Strait exchanges, especially for younger people, and promoting the common Chinese culture shared by both sides, to counter the "Taiwan independence" efforts.

Li Yihu, a deputy to the National People's Congress and head of Peking University's Taiwan Institute, warned that the Democratic Progressive Party may seek to further integrate Taiwan's cultural, educational and social systems around the "one China, one Taiwan "framework this year.

He said Lai Ching-te of the DPP, who is set to take office as the island's head in May, could potentially use his position to promote "Taiwan independence" in the fields of culture and ideology in a clandestine manner by introducing a "basic cultural law", given his strong "pro-independence" stance.

Mentioning recent instances of natural cultural exchanges, such as a popular dance video from the mainland that was shared extensively on social media in Taiwan, he said that promoting cross-Strait cultural exchanges and cooperation is an effective way to counter the promotion of "Taiwan independence "in the field of culture.

"These exchanges happened naturally," Li said, adding that "we should better develop and promote the common Chinese culture to make it serve as a psychological and emotional link between compatriots on both sides."

Yang Yizhou, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, and also vice-chairman of the All-China Federation of Taiwan Compatriots, said vigilance is necessary against Lai's gradual approach to "Taiwan independence", with a focus on efforts to "de-Sinicize" the culture of Taiwan.

He added that strengthening cultural exchanges between the two sides and promoting the common Chinese culture of both sides through cultural cooperation and activities was the most effective approach.

Chen Yunying, a deputy with the Taiwan delegation of the NPC, said, "Taiwan's society is weakening and separatism is very rampant. In fact, for our compatriots in Taiwan, it is a tragedy when you hear someone say, 'I do not recognize myself as a Chinese'."

"I feel very sorry for the young people in Taiwan who are being subjected to 'de-Sinicization' in education," Chen said. She condemned the DPP authorities by saying, "Are they going to let the young people have no future, no prospects at all? Should they be confined to an island of 36,000 square kilometers?"

Regarding future cross-Strait exchanges, Chen said, "The mainland will make the greatest efforts to welcome Taiwan compatriots, whether it is for studying, employment, entrepreneurship, business, or other matters."

Yan Ke, a deputy from the Taiwan delegation, said that last year, there were approximately 3 million cross-Strait visits, and the number of visits by Taiwan compatriots to the Chinese mainland increased by 7.4 times compared to the previous year.

"This indicates that compatriots from both sides desire exchanges, interactions and cooperation, which cannot be obstructed by the DPP authorities," she said.

Zeng Liqun, another deputy from the Taiwan delegation, suggested allowing young people in Taiwan to learn about Chinese culture through summer camps, winter camps and Chinese culture study camps.

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