Since Tsai Ing-wen was elected president of Taiwan in 2016, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has striven to undermine her in a number of ways: poaching Taiwan’s few remaining allies, opening new flight routes in the Taiwan Strait, preventing it from attending meetings of important international organizations, and increasing military pressure, among other things. Now, the CCP has outlined its latest plan to damage Taiwan. This time, it is through economics in the form of luring away the island-nation’s top talent by easing restrictions and providing incentives for both students and professionals to study or work in the People’s Republic.
This initiative, dubbed the “31 Measures” for the number of changes the Mainland’s Taiwan Affairs Council released in February 2018, will serve to boost China’s economy by infusing it with young, educated workers and (hopefully) undermine Taiwan’s economy by increasing the “brain drain” occurring there.
The 31 Measures are a variety of changes to current CCP policy regulating the ability of Taiwanese students to study and professionals to work in China. Twelve of the measures even the playing field by treating Taiwanese the same as Chinese, and 19 loosen regulations. Tax breaks are also included in the initiative.
The policy adds incentives for students or young entrepreneurs coming to Taiwan with the possibility of free rent for a number of years and food subsidies. The 31 Measures also expanded the number of areas that lawyers can practice from 20 to 237. Regulations regarding doctors, teachers, accountants, and other fields would be eased as well. The measures ease quotas for the number of Taiwanese allowed on film crews for television and film.