The Documentary: Soft Power Seduction: China Lures Taiwan’s Youth

Tuesday 17 July



Is Beijing using its economic might to lure the youth of Taiwan? Young entrepreneurs from Taiwan are being offered attractive sweeteners - not in Taipei or even in California - but in Shanghai.

China is setting its sights on the youth of Taiwan - by encouraging them to move to China.

Over the last decade Taiwan’s economy has slowed and wages have stagnated, prompting tens of thousands of young people to leave Taiwan and head to the mega cities of the People’s Republic for better jobs and greater opportunities.

In February, the Chinese Government in Beijing unveiled a package of measures encouraging people and businesses from Taiwan to move to China, including tax breaks, subsidies, research grants and access to government contracts.

Taiwan’s current pro-independence Government is worried about a potential ‘brain drain’ and there are fears that Beijing, which views Taiwan as a rebel province, is using its vast economic clout in a soft power offensive to lure the youth of Taiwan to China.

Caroline Bayley travels to Shanghai and Taipei and asks whether Taiwan’s youth is being bought up by China and, if so, can Taiwan can do anything about it?

  • Editor: Penny Murphy
  • Produced and presented by Caroline Bayley for BBC World Service