During Kuomintang’s (KMT) administration from 2008 to 2016, China’s influence in Taiwan expanded enormously through increasing mutual communication and exchanges between the two countries, thus giving China leverage to install its proxy agent framework to achieve its political interests. This paper argues that by using Taiwanese elites, China advanced its political agenda, and strengthened its proxy agent framework during this process. China has implanted a softer strategy in connecting with proxy agents.
The paper first discusses China’s goals and strategy of further communication and cooperation with Taiwan to elucidate the foundation upon which proxy agent frameworks have been implemented. Next, specific cases of proxy agents providing different degrees of evidence are examined. The cases discussed include the Want Want China Times Group and other business tycoons, Taipei Whampoa Military Academy Alumni Association, the True Enlightenment Education Foundation, and certain Taiwanese political elites. These cases focus on the characteristics of these people’s and entities’ relationships with China that helped China influence or acquire interests in Taiwan. Finally, the paper illustrates the relationship among China, its proxy agents and the Taiwanese as well as the impact of proxy agents.
The paper concludes that China’s proxy agent framework is an ecology system of interest that involves quid pro quo. Fieldwork indicates that economic attraction, subsidies and Chinese identity are the major strategies used to attract proxy agents. Although certain cases concerning the connections between China and Taiwan groups and individuals remain unverified, a coincident win-win situation between China and certain Taiwan groups and individuals are revealed periodically. China’s large market and its promise of economic rewards have indeed influenced the actions of Taiwanese elites. China is buying “the hearts and minds” not of the general Taiwanese but of Taiwanese elites, who may serve as proxy agents. After Tsai yin-wen won the presidential election in 2016, China has continued to increase its number of proxy agents to influence Taiwan. It is thus very likely that the number of Taiwanese who devote themselves to the proxy agents “industry” will increase.
During the Vietnam War from 1965 to 1973, more than 310,000 Korean soldiers were dispatched to Vietnam. The killings of many Vietnamese civilians that occurred during this period are often mentioned in the recent ‘anti-Korean sentiment’ boom in Japan. This article discusses narratives of the memory of killings in both Korea and Vietnam. At the end of the 20th century in South Korea, what was once a ‘bravery story’ that killed ‘Aka (Communist)’ began to be viewed as an event that ‘killed civilians’. This difficulty in facing the reality of the home country’s negative history resulted in divided public opinion. A Korean NGO, NAWAURI, has attempted to contribute to future peace by apologizing to the Vietnamese people, listening to the people who survived from the killings, and understanding victims’ feelings.
On the other hand, in Vietnam, based on the slogan ‘Close the past and head towards the future’, Vietnamese survivors can only mention the historical recognition of the war in a way that does not affect international relations. This slogan has not only been simply championed by the state but also become a national consciousness, so there is little movement to record war memories of the general people so as to convey them to posterity. The slogan suppresses the honest feelings of survivors of mass killings, who have been forced to live difficult lives.
The national history of the Vietnam War, therefore, is a story of the brilliant triumph of the North Vietnamese army, or the National Liberation Front, who fought risking their lives. As a result, memories of mass killings that are unrelated to the victory would inevitably be unrecognized in Vietnamese national history. This means that when the state regulates memories and constitutes it as ‘the history of so-and-so country’, only favourable events are recorded, and some memories that do not promote nationalism are truncated. Memories of mass killings by the Korean army usually disappear with the death of the survivors, but ironically, the activities of the Korean NGO, which is revealing war memories of survivors in an attempt to ensure future peace, are contributing to the healing of the survivors and also to maintaining diverse war memories that are not subsumed by the state.