Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen invites 20 social influencers to stay at her palace

16-Aug-2019 Intellasia | ABC | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Taiwan’s pro-independence president Tsai Ing-wen has announced a competition inviting 20 guests to stay at Taipei’s Presidential Palace free of charge.

The offer to stay in the Republic of China’s 100-year-old landmark comes after the island’s tourism industry was hit by a Chinese ban on solo travellers.

“I invite you to visit Taiwan and experience the warmth and hospitality of the people here,” Ms Tsai told potential entrants.

“And while you are here, why don’t you be my guest and spend the night at this presidential office building?”

A total of 20 spots are up for grabs, and eligible entrants have to be non-Republic of China citizens over the age of 20.

Entrants are also asked to provide links to their social media profile, including “key engagement statistics” to form part of their bid, which also requires a 90-second video to “promote Taiwan”.

Guests will be obliged to make and upload an additional video about their stay to their public profiles, which must be made 15 days after checking out from the President’s residence.

“This programme is the first of its kind in the world and our goal is to show Taiwan’s freedom, democracy and openness,” presidential spokesman Xavier Chang said.

The accommodation is expected to be available from October.

Tsai makes tourist pitch as Beijing strangles visitors

Taiwan has experienced a sharp drop in Chinese mainland tourists since Ms Tsai took office three years ago.

Her ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has accused Beijing of using visitors “as a weapon” to threaten her government.

Beijing still claims the self-ruling, democratic island as part of its territory, and President Xi Jinping has previously said that China would take back the island by force if necessary.

A dwindling number of countries around the world recognise Taiwan’s sovereignty as the Republic of China, which includes the Vatican City and several Pacific and Caribbean states.

In recent years, the Chinese government has managed to force countries to switch allegiances, which has included the Dominican Republic and Panama in the past two years.

The Solomon Islands has also been suspected of being the next country to turn to Beijing.

Additionally, interventions by prominent Chinese celebrities regarding China’s claims over Taiwan have led major brands such as Versace and Swarovski to apologise for listing the island as a separate country, while airlines including Qantas have been forced to list Taiwan’s as a territory instead of a nation.

The DPP refuses to recognise China’s sovereignty claims over the island.



Category: Taiwan

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