Nearly 70 percent of the people of Taiwan "are the enemies of China already," because they support Taiwan becoming an independent country, a top Mainland China research leader on Taiwan said in a March 8, 2021 interview with China Review. Professor Tang Yonghong, deputy director of the Taiwan Research Center at Xiamen University, said what while the language of Beijing's latest annual Government Work Report on Taiwan is similar to that of last year's report, there are subtle but key differences, as Chinese officials become more insistent on cracking down against the independence sentiment in Taiwan. Gone is the rhetoric of "Taiwanese compatriots"; most Taiwanese are now considered "enemies" who must be "dealt with harshly."
Below are excerpts of the China Review interview with Professor Tang Yonghong:
Professor Tang Yonghong (Source: Crntt.com)
'It Is Obvious That The Mainland Will Further Strengthen The Work Of Opposing Independence And Promoting Reunification'
"Professor Tang Yonghong, Deputy Director of the Taiwan Research Center at Xiamen University, told China Review that the part of the annual Government Work Report on Taiwan generally maintains a relationship of inheritance and development, which is reflected in its short text.
"Compared with the previous years, the identical contents are 'remaining committed to the major principles and policies on work related to Taiwan,' 'promoting the peaceful growth of relations across the Taiwan Strait and China's reunification,' and correspondingly demanding opposition to secessionist activities seeking 'Taiwan independence' and toward promoting cross-strait exchanges and cooperation. These form the Mainland's consistent stance, principle and demand. But China may adjust its primary focus, ways, and methods with Taiwan-related work in response to the changes in Taiwan's social development, China-U.S. relations, and other Taiwan-related situations. This year, it is obvious that the mainland will further strengthen the work of 'Opposing Independence And Promoting Reunification,' emphasize the 'Doing It Our Way' [principle], and may introduce more substantial measures to deter Taiwan independence.
"In the '2021 Government Work Report' delivered by [Chinese] Premier Li Keqiang on March 5, the Taiwan-related content consists of 108 Chinese characters: 'We remain committed to the major principles and policies on work related to Taiwan, to the One-China principle and the 1992 Consensus, and to promoting the peaceful growth of relations across the Taiwan Strait and China's reunification. We will remain highly vigilant against and resolutely deter any separatist activity seeking 'Taiwan Independence.' We will improve the systems and policies for safeguarding the wellbeing of our Taiwan compatriots and ensuring they enjoy the same treatment on China's mainland as local residents. We will promote exchanges, cooperation, and integrated development across the Taiwan Strait. Together, we can shape a bright future of rejuvenation for our great nation' …
Beijing Might 'Introduce More Substantial Measures To Deter Taiwan Independence'
"Tang Yonghong told China Review that judging by the change in its way of expression from the previous years, the mainland may further strengthen the work of 'Opposing Independence and Promoting Unification' and stick to 'Doing It Our Way' in response to the change of internal public sentiment in Taiwan. It may also introduce more substantial measures to deter Taiwan Independence. Overall, comparing with previous years, three changes of Taiwan-related expressions in this year's 'Government Work Report' need to be noted, that is, emphasizing the 1992 Consensus, 'Opposing Independence and Promoting Unification' and 'Doing It Our Way.'
"Tang Yonghong points out that the 1992 Consensus and One-China Principle were not mentioned in last year's 'Government Work Report,' causing some speculation, but this year it returned to the previous wording. It says, 'We remain committed to the major principles and policies on work related to Taiwan, to the One-China principle and the 1992 Consensus and to promoting the peaceful growth of relations across the Taiwan Strait and China's reunification.' This is probably designed to be targeted.
"Tang Yonghong continued that the Tsai Ing-wen authorities have recently made some personnel changes in cross-strait and security affairs. While Chiu Tai-san, the newly appointed minister of the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), expressed his hope of cross-strait dialogue and communication and the thawing of relations, etc., he avoided the core meaning of the 1992 Consensus that both sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to 'One China.' The mainland has always wanted Taiwan to recognize it. Ma Xiaoguang, the spokesman of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council responded to the matter earlier. While Taiwan continues to follow closely the signals the Two Sessions send out, all Mainland statements are specifically targeted at Taiwan when the One-China principle and the 1992 Consensus are reiterated. That is to say, if the Taiwan authorities really want to restart the cross-strait dialogue and communication at the official level, they must accept the definition of the cross-strait relations that both sides belong to the same country and recognize the 1992 Consensus.
"Tang Yonghong continued to say that secondly, on deterring Taiwan independence, the recent 'Government Work Report' uses the phrase 'highly vigilant against,' implying that the mainland is clearly more determined to take substantial actions to curb Taiwan Independence. That is because although the cross-strait relations this year are not as strained as in the later years of the Trump Administration, social development has gone through qualitative changes in Taiwan. In particular, the national identity of people in Taiwan has been seriously alienated from the mainland. And DPP, the ruling party, takes advantage of its full control of the government, pushing for and advancing the process of Taiwan Independence.
"This might also be related to the recent launch of the process of 'constitutional amendment' in Taiwan. The mainland will watch closely if definitions concerning cross-strait relations and sovereignty will appear, or the threshold for referendum be lowered, and the legal Taiwan independence and gradual Taiwan independence be promoted. It is expected that the mainland will take corresponding steps to combat the forces for Taiwan independence.
'[China's] Institutions Dealing With Taiwan Affairs Are Directly Requested To 'Oppose Independence And Promote Reunification'
"Finally, Tang Yonghong said that it was always emphasized in previous years that it needed to 'unite the broad masses of Taiwan compatriots to jointly oppose 'Taiwan independence' and promote reunification,' but such phrases are missing in this year's 'Government Work Report.' Instead, the institutions dealing with Taiwan affairs are directly requested to 'oppose independence and promote reunification.'
"In fact, faced with the fact that nearly 70 percent of people in Taiwan do not recognize that both sides of the strait belong to the same country and are inclined toward independence in the future (those Taiwanese people are no longer considered 'Taiwan compatriots'), the mainland not only needs to strengthen the work of 'Opposing Independence And Promoting Reunification,' but even more so to take the lead in the work of 'Opposing Independence And Promoting Reunification' by 'Doing It Our Way' instead of resting hope on others.
"Tang Yonghong continued that in fact, those people in Taiwan who do not recognize being Chinese and engage in separatist activities of 'Taiwan independence' are the enemies of China already. And the mainland obviously cannot expect them to 'oppose independence and promote reunification' together with the mainland. They can only be dealt with harshly. Of course, the mainland will continue to unite those Taiwan compatriots, who recognize both sides of the strait belong to the same country and that they are Chinese, to jointly 'Oppose Independence And Promote Reunification' and push for national rejuvenation."
 Bj.crntt.com/doc/1060/2/5/6/106025611.html?coluid=266&kindid=0&docid=106025611&mdate=0308002420, March 8, 2021.
 "操之在己" ("Doing It Our Way") can also be translated as "taking the initiative in our own hands." The CCP frequently uses rhetoric about "taking initiative" – for example, Mao Zedong's famous sayings "You fight your way and we'll fight our way," "Putting our own needs first," "Strive for the initiative," "Take the initiative to fight, play the first move," "Firmly grasp the initiative," "Turn a passive situation into an active one," and so on.