Why the island’s citizens are worried about China’s growing influence over their home
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On a past visit to Taiwan’s rugged, windswept east coast, I stayed at a B&B in the seaside town of Hualien. It was run by a middle-aged Taiwanese descended from islanders predating the 1949 flight to Taiwan of the Kuomintang (KMT) army and elite after the communists won the civil war in China. The innkeeper was apoplectic about a new influx of mainlanders: Chinese tourists, whom he found arrogant and politically incorrect. He refused to host any, even though that cost him business. The Chinese, he said, were trouble.
It’s a sentiment shared by ever more of Taiwan’s 23 million people.