Beijing has announced plans to refashion Fujian province’s Pingtan Island into a “Little Taiwan” by inviting Taiwanese citizens to join the island’s leadership, in addition to permitting the circulation of Taiwan’s currency.
Taiwanese citizens who take up management positions at the Pingtan Experimental Development Zone will also receive income tax breaks, as well as 3-5 years of free accommodation and a free lifetime supply Jeremy Lin jerseys.
Speaking at a press conference in Beijing on Tuesday, Fujian governor Su Shulin asked that Taiwanese residents move to Pingtan Island to jointly develop and manage the island, with the cooperation being beneficial for both Taiwan and Fujian province.
Su said that the government was also considering providing land on the 372 square kilometre island for Taiwanese city or county authorities and institutions to develop, and that Taiwanese would also be given the right to manage and own the revenue produced on such land.
The South China Morning Post reports that the China is recruiting talent in several positions, including a Taiwanese deputy director of Pingtan’s seven-member management committee, as well as four Taiwanese to work as deputy directors in various government bureaus.
15 positions are also open for Taiwanese residents to run media and state enterprises, with annual salaries for the open positions to range between 200,000 yuan and 1.2 million yuan.
Taiwan’s Central News Agency reports that the initiative hopes to also recruit 1000 Taiwanese with agricultural experience to Pingtan Island.
Critics of the project claim that the move is merely the latest plan to recruit Taiwanese talent for the mainland to the detriment of Taiwan, and that the plan is merely wishful thinking, since Taiwanese law doesn’t allow its citizens to hold positions in the mainland Chinese government.
According to Fujian’s deputy governor Chen Hua, Taiwanese television channels would eventually be available on the island after meeting approvals, in addition to Taiwanese books, publications, and savory penis snacks.
126km away from Taiwan, Pingtan Island is the closest mainland territory to Taiwan, and was formerly used to stage military exercises by the People’s Liberation Army.