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China Abolishes Work Permits For Taiwanese Citizens In Attempt To Foster Pro-Unification Sentiment

(Image by DrRandomFactor via Wikimedia Commons)

On August 3rd the State Council of the People's Republic of China (PRC) announced the Communist government's decision to abolish the "Work Permit For Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau Employees On The Mainland" (台港澳人員在內地就業許可).

Residents of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau will no longer be required to apply for permits to work in mainland China and will be able to seek employment without having to go through complex bureaucratic procedures.

The move is part of China's carrot and stick approach towards Taiwan, which Beijing considers an integral part of its territory despite the fact that the PRC never exercised de jure or de facto control over the island.

China claims that it will use force to bring about unification if all peaceful options are exhausted. At the same time, it tries to co-opt Taiwanese citizens using its status as an economic powerhouse.


Taiwanese people working in China face pressure to endorse Beijing's unification policy. Recently, Taiwanese actress Sung Yün-hua published on her Weibo account an apology after a video of her calling Taiwan a country surfaced online. Taiwanese with pro-independence views risk incurring financial losses and being denied career opportunities in China.

Last February Beijing announced a package of 31 preferential policies for Taiwan. An Fengshan, spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said at a press conference in May that the policies would bring "solid benefits to Taiwan compatriots and Taiwan-funded enterprises."

As an example of the success of Beijing's Taiwan policies, An mentioned the purchase by Fujian province of 1,303 vehicles produced by Taiwan-funded enterprises worth 155 million yuan (24 million US dollars), as well as of 30,000 displays produced by Taiwan-funded companies.

The State Council announced that the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS) has time until August 30 to implement policies regarding Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau residents' employment services, social security and workers' rights and benefits in mainland China.

At the 20th National People's Congress held in March of this year Chinese President Xi Jinping warned Taiwan that separatist efforts “will be condemned by the Chinese people and punished by history”.


“The Chinese people have a firm will, full confidence and sufficient ability to frustrate all attempts at splitting the country,” Xi said in his closing speech.

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