Americans Want U.S. to Protect Taiwan

May 31, 2007 at 11:36 pm | Posted in China, 美国, 美國, 軍事, Military, News, Politics, Taiwan, United States, 军事, 台灣, 台湾, 政治, 新聞, 新闻, 中国, 中國 | 2 Comments

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June 1 2007 Angus Reid Global Monitor

Many people in the United States believe their country should stand by Taiwan in case of a military confrontation with China, according to a poll by Zogby Interactive released by UPI. 53.5 per cent of respondents think the U.S. has a responsibility to defend Taiwan should it be attacked by China, while 36 per cent disagree.

Taiwan was formed in 1949 after the government of Chiang Kai-shek was forced out of China as Mao Zedong’s communists were gaining prominence. A series of democratic reforms implemented by Taiwanese president Lee Teng-hui in the early 1990s allowed Taiwan’s residents to take part in free and fair elections. To this date, Mainland China considers Taiwan a “renegade province” and reserves the right to bring it under control.

In March 2005, legislators in China’s National People’s Congress passed the anti-secession law, which aims to prevent Taiwan’s independence. The legislation calls for the use of “non-peaceful means and other necessary measures to protect China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

On May 25, the Pentagon released a report titled “Military Power of the People’s Republic of China, 2007”, in which it asserts the Asian country is engaged in “a sustained effort to develop the capability to interdict, at long ranges, aircraft carrier and expeditionary strike groups that might deploy to the Western Pacific.”

The report also explicitly says Beijing does not yet have “the military capability to accomplish with confidence its political objectives on (Taiwan), particularly when confronted with the prospect of U.S. intervention.”

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Asia Courts Japanese Engineers

May 25, 2007 at 3:45 pm | Posted in China, 科技, 經濟, 经济, Economics, 韩国, Japan, News, South Korea, Taiwan, Technology, 南韓, 台灣, 台湾, 新聞, 新闻, 日本, 中国, 中國 | Leave a comment

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Martin Fackler in Hsinchu, May 23 2007 New York Times

One of the hottest exports from Japan these days is not video games or eco-friendly cars. It is engineers.

As the once-vaunted Japanese electronics industry has downsized to survive global competition, it has inadvertently set off a brain drain. Thousands of Japanese engineers and other industry professionals have gone to Taiwan, South Korea and China to seek work at aggressive, fast-growing companies on the prowl for access to Japanese technological skills.

But the recent outflow of job-seekers is a sign of just how much Japan has changed after a decade of increased competition, corporate belt-tightening and the end of lifetime job guarantees. This harsher world has led Japan’s famously conservative salarymen to become more aggressive in their job choices and to view their careers as something for their own benefit and not simply as service to their companies, employment experts said…

The government of Taiwan says at least 2,500 Japanese have moved there in recent years to work mostly in technology-related manufacturing industries…

The migrants are finding themselves welcomed with open arms and generous pay. Some countries, like Taiwan, are aggressively courting Japanese professionals. Companies in Taiwan are eager to gain access to Japan’s leading technology in areas like electronics, both to catch up with Japanese front runners like Sony and to stay ahead of fast-gaining Chinese rivals. The Taiwan government says it has spent $20 million a year since 2003 to recruit foreign engineers, including Japanese in such important industries as semiconductors and flat-panel displays…

The largest number of offers are from companies in booming China, she said, but those with the most coveted skills tended to get hired by companies in Taiwan, which are rushing to close the technological gap with Japan…

Hiroshi Itabashi was an engineer with more than 20 years experience at a midsize Japanese television maker when he got a phone call out of the blue in 1999 from Delta Electronics, a fast-growing Taiwanese electronic components company…

“They gave me this exciting opportunity to build a whole new business from scratch,” said Itabashi, 56, who asked that his former Japanese employer not be identified. “This is something you can’t do in Japan. These days, Japanese companies always seem to be closing down operations, not starting new ones.”

Welcome to Beijing “Disneyland”

May 9, 2007 at 12:18 pm | Posted in China, 盜版, 科技, 經濟, 经济, Economics, IPR, News, Piracy, Politics, Technology, 政治, 新聞, 新闻, 智慧財產權, 智慧财产权, 中国, 中國 | 1 Comment

This should serve as a warning to all foreign investors looking to enter China. Compared to the rest of the world, China actually has a relatively comprehensive set of IPR regulations. The problem right now lies in their enforcement. Beijing claims that it’s making an effort to crack down on piracy, which is an integral part of almost every industry imaginable within China, from DVDs and LV handbags to SMART cars and prescriptions drugs.

For years, Beijing has placed the blame of China’s lack of IPR enforcement upon the local governments, which it claims are ignoring the policies implemented by the central government. This may be true to some extent but let’s not forget what we’re dealing with here. As a one-party state, the CCP has complete control of the system. The government is involved in almost every single aspect of the economy. So how credible is the CCP when it claims that it’s already doing its best? Unless…PIRACY IS GOOD.

China’s aspiration for globally recognized national champions and its ambition to establish itself as a technological superpower will be realized at the expense of foreign investors. Unlike other previous developing countries, which all had serious IPR problems but eventually caught up to Western standards brought upon by foreign pressure, China’s has little motivation to follow suite since it has more leverage than its trading partners. Although foreign investors understand the high level of risk involved relating to IPR infringement when they invest in China, with a potential consumer market of 1.3 billion, the CCP is confident that foreign investors will continue to flock to China with their new technologies. Currently, within most industries, foreign investors are required to pair up with a domestic partner. In time, the domestic partner will terminate the partnership and compete with its former foreign partner using a “similar” product. When the two parties go to court and when push comes to shove, as with everything else in China, those with the “connections” will prevail, leaving foreign investors completely vulnerable to such business risks.

As of now, the CCP will only do what’s best for its domestic industries, which is to turn a blind eye to piracy and allow local Chinese firms to profit and “innovate” at the expense of foreign investors. In the future, when Chinese firms become serious about R&D, that’s when the CCP will get serious about IPR protection as well.

As Mirror Images Emerge, Taiwan, China Can Reconcile

May 6, 2007 at 8:39 am | Posted in China, 經濟, 经济, Economics, 軍事, Military, News, Politics, Taiwan, 军事, 台灣, 台湾, 政治, 新聞, 新闻, 中国, 中國 | 2 Comments

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John C. Bersia, April 30 2007 Orlando Sentinel

Like bad Chinese food, the Beijing-Taipei flap over the 2008 Olympics torch relay leaves a funky, disappointing aftertaste. It is not what one should expect in connection with an event that celebrates human capability, spirited competition, collective pride and unity.

Ironically, the torch relay — advertised by China as the most inclusive in history — has ignited a firestorm of divisiveness more than a year before it is scheduled to light up the Olympics’ opening ceremony. Beijing wishes to run the torch through Taiwan as a continuation of its trek across parts of China, thus underscoring its claim to the island. Taipei seeks a route through third countries.

Whether this issue is resolved or not, the contentiousness between China and Taiwan — after nearly 60 years — has grown tiresome. No wonder some people throw their hands into the air and exclaim, “Why don’t they simply duke it out, and let the winner take all of China?”

Chinese leaders certainly appear prepared — and at times eager — for confrontation. The threat of military force lingers just behind their lips every time Taiwanese officials toy with notions of independence. But surely Beijing’s communist rulers know that an invasion of the island would fail, even if they managed to obliterate Taiwan. Most damaging, such action would deprive them of their only significant claim to legitimacy: Chinese economic strength.

If, because of war, China lost the ability to bring large numbers of have-nots to a higher standard of living each year, the Chinese people would stand up again — this time, with their pitchforks aimed directly at the leadership that supposedly liberated them in 1949. The Communist Party would die overnight.

Bear in mind that none of this discussion has considered the impact of China-Taiwan conflict and disruption on the regional and global economies. Clearly, this is not a civil spat that should be allowed to burn itself out.

So, what are the other options?

The tedious status quo, for one. Another would be for Taiwan to follow in the footsteps of Hong Kong and Macau, and end once and for all the artificial separation of China. Beijing would love that decision; indeed, it has dangled many incentives before Taipei to induce it to end the rift. Looking to the Hong Kong example, with a 50-year transitional agreement guaranteeing the district’s way of life, many analysts see opportunities for Taiwan. In fact, Taipei has the leverage to demand much more from such an arrangement.

It has little reason to take that route, though. After all, Taiwan occupies the higher ground in terms of its democratic government and free-market economy. China is still traveling down a sometimes herky-jerky road to reform. The controlling impulses of its moribund ideology hamper political development. Democratic practices are evident only at the village level. In addition, excessive state influence lingers over China’s economy, despite its power and numerous free-market elements.

Further, I do not buy the idea embraced by some that Taiwan might more effectively work to change China from the inside than it can in its current position.

I would prefer to see the opposite, that is, for China to join Taiwan, and have every expectation that reconciliation is possible later in this century. After all, Beijing and Taipei grow more interdependent with each passing year. Pressures for wider reform within China will not pause. Eventually, a “Big Taiwan” will rise on the mainland. At that point, when the two systems mirror one another, they will merge.

In the meantime, the key will be for sensible heads to prevail, particularly during moments of tension such as the spat over the Olympics. China and Taiwan must, at all costs, avoid sacrificing their vast mutual interests on the altar of their aging dispute.

Reunification is an option, but Mainland China must provide Taiwan sufficient motivations to do so. At its current rate of progress, it will be decades before “mirror images” emerge across the strait, especially if the CCP intends to hold on to power.

Taiwan and St Lucia Restore Ties

May 1, 2007 at 7:18 pm | Posted in China, 聖露西亞, News, Politics, St Lucia, Taiwan, 台灣, 台湾, 圣卢西亚, 政治, 新聞, 新闻, 中国, 中國 | 1 Comment

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Taipei, May 1 2007 BBC News

Taiwan has re-established formal diplomatic ties with the Caribbean island of St Lucia – taking the number of its diplomatic allies to 25. Taiwan’s foreign minister signed the agreement with his St Lucian counterpart on a visit to the island. The decision is almost certain to prompt China to sever its ties with St Lucia, correspondents say. Beijing regards Taiwan as part of its territory, and requires its diplomatic allies not to recognise the island.

Both Taiwan and China have battled for years for diplomatic partners, accusing each other of using “dollar diplomacy” to win over allies. In recent years, China has been gaining the upper hand as its status and economic position around the world have grown, the BBC’s Caroline Gluck in Taipei says. Tuesday’s agreement re-establishes ties that were cut by St Lucia a decade ago under a previous administration.

Taiwan’s diplomatic victory was announced back home via a live satellite link from St Lucia, our correspondent reports.

“After four-and-a-half months of hard work, we accomplished the mission to restore diplomatic ties with St Lucia,” Foreign Minister James Huang told a Taipei press conference via telephone. He said Taiwan would offer St Lucia help on a range of projects, from agriculture, education and business to medical assistance.

He also said he hoped the deal would not result in China cutting its ties with St Lucia.

“We hope for a win-win situation for all and we do not mean to engage in zero-sum games with China,” he said. But the signs from Beijing were not encouraging.

“The resumption of diplomatic relations between St Lucia and Taiwan is a flagrant violation of the declaration on the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and St Lucia,” foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said. He urged St Lucia to rethink the decision or “be responsible for the consequences incurred”.

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