Recently, as the situation across the Taiwan Strait has intensified, Chinese authorities have strengthened control over people related to Taiwan. Those with immediate family members who have worked or resided in Taiwan for a long time are required to register.
A community notice that spread in the coastal city of Zhoushan, Zhejiang Province, showed that the Chinese government recently launched an investigation and requires the registration of those with immediate family members who have long-term working or residence status in Taiwan. The notice requires that, between September 22 and October 20, people with Taiwan-related relatives must go to the community Chinese Communist Party (CCP) committee office to register. The notice did not mention the purpose of the registration.
An official from the Taiwan Affairs Office in Zhejiang province confirmed with Radio Free Asia (RFA) that it was the government that required such registration. The Taiwan Affairs Office did not issue the order. He denied that the matter is a routine practice instead of a response to the recent tension across the Taiwan Strait. “If you are immediate family members of people in Taiwan, you must first tell the community.”
Mr. Wu, a legal professional, told RFA that the control of overseas relations actually became the normal state after the CCP took over China. The difference is that when the bilateral relationship is relaxed, this kind of control is loose; when the relationship is tense, the government exerts stricter control. The CCP attempts to make use of these family relations to blackmail people overseas.
Often, since 1949, the Chinese people who have immediate family members overseas have been subjected to brutal suppression in the name of “illicit (traitorous) relations with a foreign country.” After 1979, overseas family relations were, at times, the focus and target of the CCP’s united front work. Since Xi Jinping took office, overseas relations have again become sensitive.
Source: Radio Free Asia, September 24, 2020