Taiwan's Indigenous Minority Stares Down Beijing's Charm Offensive

Taiwan's Indigenous Minority Stares Down Beijing's Charm Offensive

Andrew H. Sweet

Their importance to Taiwan's historical narrative has long made them a target for attempted Chinese influence campaigns, particularly as Beijing steps up its threats towards the democratic island it claims as its own territory.

The existence of some 500,000 people whose Austronesian ancestors are believed to have settled in Taiwan more than 6000 years ago undercuts the Chinese Communist Party's historical ownership claims to the island.

In an attempt to counter this, Beijing has sought to cultivate a more favorable view of China by reportedly wooing members of indigenous groups, including their officials and educators, since the 1980s with subsidized trips attempting to emphasize their Chinese links.

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