Friday, October 04, 2013

Taiwan’s retired generals: A gold mine for China?

Much is often said about the risks that retired Taiwanese generals will share secrets with the Chinese during exchange visits. However, for China, the propaganda value of such contacts is just as important 

“From now on, we should no longer separate the Republic of China [ROC] Army and the People’s Liberation Army [PLA] — we are all China’s army.” There is nothing particularly shocking about such remarks, which are in line with Beijing’s position on Taiwan, a self-ruled, democratic island it regards as a breakaway province awaiting “reunification.”

But what if the individual who is said to have uttered them wasn’t a PLA officer, but rather a retired Taiwanese general while on a visit to China, during exchanges between purported foes that have become far more commonplace in recent years? Beyond that incident, what are the implications for Taiwan’s security when ex-generals cavort with their PLA opponents across the Strait, play golf with them, or participate in joint conferences?

My article, published today on the China Policy Institute Blog at the University of Nottingham, continues here. (Photo by the author)

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