China Turns the Soft Power on Taiwan

Last Saturday night, in a gala featuring 62 bands and singers, the Mandarin pop extravaganza "Chinese Music Chart Awards," often dubbed China's Grammys, took place - in slightly toned down form? in Taiwan's packed 15,000-seat Taipei Arena. Established in 2001, the event has previously been held in Shenzhen and Beijing to honor the best albums, best and most favorite male and female vocalists and best composer and lyricist from Hong Kong, Taiwan and the mainland itself. The awards, announced unilaterally by China, were opposed by Taiwan's anti-unification opposition. They appear to be the latest in an unflagging string of stratagems by Beijing to waft soft-power blandishments across the 160-km Taiwan Strait. For better or worse, it appeared to be successful. The opposition was largely ignored.

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