Friday, September 04, 2015

As Chen Yunlin Falls From Grace, Beijing Shows It Still Doesn’t Get Taiwan

Beijing is blaming Chen Yunlin for 'losing' Taiwan. If only things were that simple...

According to reports in Taiwanese media on 4 September, China’s former point man on Taiwan affairs, Chen Yunlin, may have become the latest target of President Xi Jinping’s “anti-corruption” campaign. In an odd twist, Chen also appears to be blamed for stalled progress in cross-strait relations and Beijing’s efforts to win the hearts and minds of the Taiwanese.

In the current political environment in China, there is nothing overly surprising about the former head of the Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) and ex-chairman of the semiofficial Association For Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS)—as well as his spouse, Lai Xiaohua—coming under scrutiny by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) for possible misappropriation of funds. The Chinese system is such that virtually any official will at some point have done things that constitute corruption. Under President Xi, such infractions are then investigated and brought to light whenever an official has fallen out of favour, a process rise and fall that is reminiscent of the fate of many an official under the U.S.S.R.’s Joseph Stalin.

My article, published today on the China Policy Institute Blog at the University of Nottingham, continues here.

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