Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  China News  

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Young Taiwanese choose China jobs over politics
By Amber WANG
Taipei (AFP) Aug 20, 2017

Taiwan has long seen its international allies switching allegiance to an ascendant Beijing, but now there are also fears of a brain drain of the island's youth as they pursue careers in rival China.

Cross-strait tensions have soared since China-sceptic Tsai Ing-wen took power last year, with Beijing cutting all official communication.

China still sees the self-ruling island as part of its territory to be reunified, but young people in particular have increasingly developed a sense of pride in their Taiwanese identity.

They have been at the forefront of anti-Beijing sentiment in recent years, famously occupying Taiwan's parliament in protest at trade deals with China in the Sunflower Movement of 2014.

However, with monthly starting salaries for college graduates unchanged at below Tw$30,000 ($1,000) since the 1990s and property and consumer prices spiralling upwards, some are now taking a more pragmatic approach.

China is also wooing young Taiwanese talent in what analysts say is a "soft power" push to sway political sentiment.

Katherine Wang, 33, quit kindergarten teaching in Taipei and co-launched a business in May offering a variety of courses for young Chinese women in southeastern Xiamen city, saying she feels "hopeless" about Taiwan's economy.

"I see a ray of hope in Xiamen and working there makes me happy. I want to make a name for myself and my partners and hopefully expand our business to all over China," she explained.

Wang receives free housing and office space as an incentive from the Xiamen city government, an example of the perks offered by provincial authorities, which also include generous grants.

According to China's Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO), over 6,000 Taiwanese young people are working or interning at more than 50 youth start-up bases launched since 2015.

Top Chinese political and business leaders, including Premier Li Keqiang and Alibaba founder Jack Ma, have also encouraged Taiwanese youth to chase careers in China.

While Wang says she has no strong political views, others who do are putting them to one side for jobs.

One twenty-something has opted to work in China even though he supports Taiwanese independence -- a concept intolerable to Beijing.

"I just focus on how to do my job well," the young worker told AFP on condition of anonymity, saying he hoped it would be a stepping stone to an international career.

"My Chinese colleagues sometimes say things like 'Taiwan is a part of China' but that's their freedom of speech," he said.

Despite being a fully fledged democracy, Taiwan has never announced a formal split from China. Beijing has threatened military action if it ever did.

- 'Carrots' for youth -

There are already well-established business links between China and Taiwan.

Taiwanese manufacturers flocked to the mainland to take advantage of its resources and cheaper labour after restrictions were lifted in the late 1980s.

China is also Taiwan's biggest trade partner and market, with exports there totalling $112 billion -- 40 percent of last year's total.

But the youth links have an extra dimension, says Shih Cheng-feng, a political analyst at National Dong Hwa University.

"China realises that it needs to take a soft approach and use 'carrots' to attract (young people) in the hope that they will have some impact at critical time, such as the presidential election," Shih told AFP.

"Young people may not actively support Beijing's agenda, but their hostilities can be reduced and that for Beijing is a worthwhile investment," he explained.

There is no official data in Taiwan on the number of youngsters currently working in China.

However, a survey released by the Taipei-based Global Views magazine in March showed that nearly 60 percent of respondents aged 20-29 years old were willing to work there.

Interest was reflected in a recent recruitment drive by China's Hainan Airlines, with more than 1,500 Taiwanese applicants applying for 80 jobs based in Beijing, according to Chinese state media.

Some say such cross-strait exchanges are a good alternative way to promote stability as official ties worsen, but others fear a brain drain that will hurt Taiwan's competitiveness.

A commentary in Taiwan's Liberty Times this month accused China of trying to divide the island and draw young people away from their political ideals.

"If young generations can't see hope in Taiwan and feel pessimistic about the future, and if poverty becomes a fact, how can they feel the obligation to insist on democracy and defend ideals?" it said.




China slams US defence bill over Taiwan provision
Beijing (AFP) July 17, 2017
China on Monday said it had lodged an official protest with the United States following the passage of a defence spending bill that could lead to American warships visiting Taiwan. Beijing has long objected to any military assistance from Washington to the self-governed island, which it considers a breakaway province. "China firmly opposes any forms of official exchange and military cont ... read more

Related Links
Taiwan News at

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

China's satellite sends unbreakable cipher from space

Xian Satellite Control Center resolves over 10 major satellite faults in 50 years

China develops sea launches to boost space commerce

Chinese satellite Zhongxing-9A enters preset orbit

US launches formal trade investigation into China

Warning from history: Could Japan-style crash hit China

China's debt on a 'dangerous trajectory': IMF

China warns of retaliation as Trump launches trade probe

India, China troops in high-altitude clash: officials

Japan, US conduct live-fire drill amid regional tension

Top American general says attack on Japan same as on US

Pentagon adjusts to life under unpredictable commander-in-chief

Analysis highlights failings in US's advanced nuclear program

Clashes at anti-nuclear demo in France

RWE optimistic for 2017, boosted by nuclear tax refund

The Roadmap for Increased Safety and Viability of Nuclear Power Plants

China opens its first 'cyber court'

US creates separate unified cyber warfare command; National Guard activates cyber-security task force

Silicon Valley's accidental war with the far right

Facebook discretely fields China photo-sharing app

Analysis highlights failings in US's advanced nuclear program

Clashes at anti-nuclear demo in France

RWE optimistic for 2017, boosted by nuclear tax refund

The Roadmap for Increased Safety and Viability of Nuclear Power Plants

Night vision for bird- and bat-friendly offshore wind power

Wind energy blows up storm of controversy in Mexico

Norway's Statoil reshapes hold of giant wind farm off the British coast

Vertical axis wind turbines can offer cheaper electricity for urban and suburban areas

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement