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

waitinggame

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

stluciaflag

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”.

PRC: Travel from Mainland to Taiwan Not Country-to-Country Trip

April 29, 2007 at 9:40 pm | Posted in China, News, Politics, Taiwan, 台灣, 台湾, 政治, 新聞, 新闻, 中国, 中國 | 3 Comments

lubaozheng

Beijing, April 30 2007 Xinhua

A mainland tourism official on Sunday blamed the Taiwan authorities for putting obstacles in the way of mainland tourists who want to visit Taiwan.

The Chinese mainland removed the travel ban on mainland residents to Taiwan in May 2005, in order to expand people-to-people contacts and help boost Taiwan’s tourism industry.

Since October 2006, non-governmental tourism organizations on the mainland and in Taiwan have conducted five rounds of talks and reached consensus on major technical issues.

“But the consultation process was hindered by the Taiwan authorities, which led to sharp differences on certain issues between the negotiators,” Shao Qiwei, director of China’s National Tourism Administration, said at the closing ceremony of a two-day cross-strait forum. The mainland has showed great flexibility and offered many practical solutions, Shao said. “But the suggestions that the mainland put forward during the fifth round of consultations have so far received no feedback.”

“It is clear to all that the mainland should not be blamed for the failure to open Taiwan-bound tourist routes to mainland residents,” Shao said. The official said the mainland will continue to show the greatest sincerity and do its best to solve the issue.

“But it must be pointed out that mainland residents traveling to Taiwan are not taking country-to-country trips,” he said. Shao said he hoped the Taiwan authorities will “follow the will of the people and adopt a practical and positive attitude” in solving the remaining problems relating to cross-strait travel.

“If the Taiwan authorities sincerely support the consensus reached between non-governmental tourism organizations on both sides of the strait, Taiwan routes for mainland tourists can soon be up and running,” he said.

Gee…not country-to-country” eh? Let’s check out the website for the PRC Consulate in Chicago and see if it says anything about traveling to Taiwan. NOPE. There’s information on visas for Hong Kong and Macao but nothing on Taiwan. Hmmmmm… I wonder why that is. Is it possible that the all knowing Chinese Communist Party is wrong?! This can’t be!!

How can the PRC expect to resolve its problems with Taiwan with that kind of attitude? It’s granted and understood where they stand regarding the one-China policy, but the PRC should at least have the decency of showing some respect to the Taiwanese government if they sincerely wish to “improve ties.” Like it or not, the two governments are equals in all respect and for the PRC to continue to “negotiate” in such a manner simply isn’t all that productive. What’s even more ridiculous is that they even went as low as to push all the blame onto Taiwan. Now there you have it. The world’s up and coming “superpower.”

The PRC insists that its citizens should not be required to use their passports when entering Taiwan but should instead be equipped with a “Entry Permit” issued by the Taiwanese government and a separate “Mainland Chinese, Taiwan Travel Pass” issued by the PRC. Now let’s look at the reverse situation. When Taiwanese tourists visit China, their ROC passports are not recognized and are required to use a “Taiwanese, Mainland Travel Pass” issued by the PRC government. Not a single demand was made on Taiwan’s part. In this respect, the Taiwanese government treated the PRC government with respect, chose not to challenge its sovereignty over Mainland China and stuck to the 1992 Consensus of “one-China, different interpretations.” So why can’t the PRC do the same? Is mutual respect too much to ask for?

Taiwan Rejects China’s Torch Relay Plans

April 26, 2007 at 6:42 pm | Posted in China, 體育, News, Olympics, Politics, Sports, Taiwan, 台灣, 台湾, 奥运, 奧運, 政治, 新聞, 新闻, 中国, 中國, 体育 | 4 Comments

olympictorch

Stephen Wade in Beijing, April 26 2007 Yahoo! News/AP

China’s grandiose plans for the torch relay, the high-profile prelude to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, have been engulfed in conflict by an old political rival — Taiwan.

Within hours of Beijing’s announcement Thursday of what would be the longest torch relay in Olympic history — an 85,000-mile, 130-day route that would cross five continents and scale Mount Everest — Taiwan rejected its inclusion.

“It is something that the government and people cannot accept,” Tsai Chen-wei, the head of Taiwan’s Olympic Committee, said in the Taiwanese capital, Taipei.

The episode underscores the deep mistrust between Beijing and Taipei, antagonists in an unresolved civil war, and how entwined the Olympics become with politics…

“The Beijing 2008 torch relay will, as its theme says, be a journey of harmony, bringing friendship and respect to people of different nationalities, races and creeds,” IOC president Jacques Rogge said at the ceremony. Nevertheless, both Beijing and Taiwan hoped to use the torch relay to bolster political agendas: for Beijing, that Taiwan is part of Chinese territory, and for Taiwan that it is independent.

To that end, Taiwan wanted to participate as part of the international route — with the torch entering and departing the island via nations other than China. China would like the island run to be part of the domestic route…

This didn’t come as a surprise to me. On the other hand, I was actually surprised by Taiwan’s original compromise of allowing the torch to leave for Hong Kong or Macao, both of which are PRC held territories. For those who think Taiwan is making a big deal out of nothing and complicating the spirit of the Olympics with politics, think again. With the amount of publicity that comes from hosting the Olympics, it’s obvious which side stands to benefit the most from such an arrangement.

How to Type in Traditional Chinese Using Hanyu Pinyin

April 22, 2007 at 12:54 pm | Posted in China, Language, Taiwan, 台灣, 台湾, 中国, 中國 | 62 Comments

Microsoft Windows XP

1. Click on “Start” and then click on “Control Panels”

2. Double-click on “Regional and Language Options”

step01

3. Click on the “Languages” tab

step02

4. Click on “Details…”

step03

5. Click on “Add…”

step04

6. Configure your settings to match the image above

7. Click on “OK”

step05

8. Click on “Apply” and then click on “OK”

9. Press Ctrl-Space to toggle input language to “Chinese (Taiwan)”

step06

10. Right-click on “CH” and then click on “Restore the Language Bar”

step07

11. Click on “Tools” and then click on “Properties”

step08

12. Click on the “Keyboard Mapping” tab

step09

13. Select “HanYu Pinyin” and then click on “OK”

Taiwan Offers Compromise for China-Bound Olympic Torch

April 14, 2007 at 6:03 pm | Posted in China, 體育, News, Olympics, Politics, Sports, Taiwan, 台灣, 台湾, 奥运, 奧運, 政治, 新聞, 新闻, 中国, 中國, 体育 | Leave a comment

beijing2008mascots

Taipei, April 13 2007 USA Today/AP

Taiwan is offering a possible compromise in the long-running dispute over its place on the route of the Olympic torch going to the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing.

Chen Kuo-yi, secretary general of the Taiwan Olympic Committee, said Friday his group had told the Beijing Olympics Organizing Committee it would accept a route that moves the torch from one International Olympic Committee member, such as South Korea, through Taiwan to another IOC member, such as the Chinese territory of Hong Kong.

In previous discussions, China has pressed for Taiwan to be treated as a domestic location rather than a foreign entity, and has tried to sandwich it between two Chinese areas…

In its comments on the torch route, Taiwan has emphasized its separateness from the mainland — in keeping with the independence-minded policies of the government of President Chen Shui-bian — and has pushed for a route that reflects that stance.

Chen Kyo-yi said he would accept a route that takes the torch from South Korea to Taiwan to Hong Kong. “Hong Kong is an IOC member,” he said. “We would certainly be willing for the torch to go from here to there.”

Beijing could find that route attractive because of Hong Kong’s status as a Chinese territory. That status could allow it to claim that the torch had moved in a straight domestic line — from Taiwan to Hong Kong to the mainland.

China’s Auto Industry Takes On the World

March 30, 2007 at 8:14 pm | Posted in China, 科技, 經濟, 经济, 美国, 美國, Economics, News, Technology, United States, 新聞, 新闻, 中国, 中國 | Leave a comment

nanjingmgrover

Dexter Roberts, Mar. 28 2007 BusinessWeek

A little piece of England came to China this week. On Mar. 27, the classic British brand MG Rover began production in Nanjing, in Jiangsu Province, with 1.8-liter and 2.5-liter MG7 sedans and a 1.8-liter MG TF roadster rolling off a Chinese factory line. Next up will be other MG nameplates with engine sizes ranging from 1.1 to 1.6 liters, says Nanjing Automobile Group, the new owner of the once-iconic British brand. Unlike other Chinese auto companies that have either partnered with foreign auto companies or developed their own brands, Nanjing Auto is taking “a third path” aimed at creating an internationally competitive auto player, said Chairman Wang Haoliang on Mar. 27, according to the China Daily. The company has ambitious plans to spend $2 billion, which include the opening of a factory in Ardmore, Okla., next year in a bid to crack the world’s biggest auto market…

And the Chinese car companies are not content to stay at home. Hefei (Anhui Province)-based Chery, which produces the popular minicar the QQ on the mainland, recently signed a deal with DaimlerChrysler that will see it produce Dodge-brand vehicles for the U.S. and Western Europe markets. Shenyang-based Brilliance Automotive, which has a joint venture producing BMWs with the German company in northeastern China, showed three new models at the Geneva Auto Show this month. Those included a sporty sedan called the BS6, a BS4 compact, and a two-door BS3 coupe, all of which it aims to sell in Europe…

Despite those inroads abroad, cracking developed Western markets certainly won’t be easy. One huge challenge will be breaking into distribution channels and convincing overseas customers to trust Chinese autos. Chinese car companies have an often-deserved reputation for being more concerned with cost cutting than building high-quality, innovative vehicles. “The weak foundation of the Chinese car industry still makes it difficult for China to produce a car of decent quality and safety level,” cautions Beijing-based auto analyst Jia Xinguang.

Indeed, even succeeding at home is a challenge in the highly competitive, cutthroat Chinese auto market. So Nanjing Auto has asked Beijing for loans and subsidies totaling close to $400 million to fund its big plans to sell the Rover in China and overseas. Whether or not Beijing provides that major handout, though, MG Rovers will soon be tooling the roads of China.

Sustainable competitive advantage. U.S. Consumers would be attracted by the relatively cheap prices of Chinese automobiles, but what else can these cars offer to differentiate themselves from other established brands?

RAND: China Could Potentially Defeat U.S. in Conflict Over Taiwan

March 29, 2007 at 11:49 am | 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 | 1 Comment

mustliberatetaiwan

Santa Monica, Mar. 29 2007 RAND

China could potentially defeat the United States in a future military conflict over Taiwan by using strategies designed to limit U.S. military access to the area, according to a report issued today by the RAND Corporation.

The report examines scenarios in which China might employ what are known as “antiaccess” strategies – actions that would impede the deployment of U.S. forces into a combat zone, limit the locations from which American forces could operate, or compel the U.S. military to conduct operations farther from the conflict than it would prefer.

RAND researchers have identified a number of measures that U.S. forces can take in order to neutralize possible antiaccess strategies. These include: deploying air and missile defense systems near critical facilities; moving vulnerable ships out of port at the first sign of conflict; and reducing vulnerabilities in communications and computer systems…

The study says potential Chinese antiaccess strategies include:

1. Pressuring American allies such as Japan to limit or deny the United States the use of bases on their territory in a conflict.

2. Striking or jamming information and computer systems to delay the deployment of U.S. military forces or to deny the United States access to information about enemy locations.

3. Disrupting U.S. logistics systems to prevent the timely delivery of supplies and delay the arrival of critical reinforcements.

4. Attacking air bases and ports to prevent or disrupt an influx of forces and supplies.

5. Attacking naval assets to limit the U.S. ability to launch aircraft from the sea.

“The net result of these strategies is that China could actually defeat the United States in a conflict — not in the traditional sense of destroying the U.S. military, but in the sense of China accomplishing its military and political objectives while preventing America from achieving some or all of its objectives,” Cliff said.

“The Chinese People’s Liberation Army is well aware of its own shortcomings and the United States’ military superiority,” Cliff said. “Instead of engaging U.S. forces head-on, they would attempt to take advantage of what they perceive to be American weaknesses – including the need to deploy and operate forces thousands of miles from home…”

Taiwan Defends Its Diplomatic Offensive in St Lucia

March 24, 2007 at 11:41 am | Posted in China, News, Olympics, Politics, Taiwan, 台灣, 台湾, 奥运, 奧運, 政治, 新聞, 新闻, 中国, 中國 | 1 Comment

chineseyuanold

Mar. 24 2007 Playfuls.com/DPA

Taiwan, fighting a tough battle to win over St Lucia from China, on Saturday defended its diplomatic offensive in the Caribbean island nation as legal and transparent…

“Taiwan’s diplomacy is based on the principle of winning wide friendship. Our foreign minister’s visiting St Lucia is quite significant,” the Central News Agency (CNA) quoted Foreign Ministry Spokesman Wang Chien-yeh as saying.

Regarding claims by some countries that Taiwan was using aid to win St Lucia ‘s recognition, thus prompting China to hike its aid and resulting in dollar diplomacy, Wang said many Western countries did the same thing, so it was unfair for them to criticize Taiwan. “Our foreign assistance is supervised by the parliament and is transparent,” he told CNA…

Chinese Ambassador Gu Huaming lodged a protest with St Lucia, saying its receiving the Taiwan delegation was totally unacceptable to the government and people of China. Taiwan has been seeking to restore diplomatic ties with St Lucia, which has recognised China since the return to power of the Caribbean nation’s opposition leader Compton in December 2006.

Compton, 82, leader of the United Workers Party and the so-called father of St Lucia’s independence from Britain in 1979. He led St Lucia for 29 years, between 1964 and 1979 and again from 1982 to 1996. Under his rule, St Lucia opened diplomatic ties with Taiwan in 1984 but cut ties in order to recognize China in 1979, when Kenny Anthony became prime minister.

Now that Compton is back in power, there seems to be willingness from both St Lucia and Taipei to resume ties, causing China to take steps to protect its current diplomatic relationship. China recently pledged more aid, including offering to help build an industrial zone and a sports stadium, in a bid to match Taiwan’s offer of aid.

If St Lucia resumes ties with Taiwan, it will be the 25th country to recognize Taiwan, formally known as the Republic of China. Some 170 countries recognize China or the People’s Republic of China and see Taiwan as its breakaway province. While Taiwan accepts the dual recognition of both Taipei and Beijing by foreign countries, China upholds a “one-China” policy and cuts ties as soon as a foreign ally has opened ties with Taiwan.

Dollar diplomacy is the only way for Taiwan to survive internationally and maintain its legitimacy as a country. I don’t see how this problem can be solved in the near future. As long as China upholds it one-China policy, Taiwan will have to resort to paying for friends.

Despite China’s one-China policy, there is some truth to Taiwan’s assertion that China is the one pushing the island towards formal independence. If Taiwan was able to maintain its international presence as the Republic of China, there most likely wouldn’t even be a Taiwan Issue today. Only after Taiwan began to lose its diplomatic allies to the PRC did most Taiwanese start to ask themselves, “If the world recognizes the PRC as China, yet we are not part of the PRC, so does that mean Taiwan is not part of China?” This mindset led to the reemergence of the Taiwanese identity, which has been strongly reinforced by China’s military threats and the conspicuous manner in which the PRC goes about degrading the status and image of Taiwan within the international arena.

In reality and for all practical matters, the relationship between the ROC and PRC is analogous to the relationship between the two Koreas, namely the ROK and DPRK. Despite the presence of two Koreas and the hostilities that exist between them, the two sides agree that there is in essence only one Korea and that the two countries would ultimately be reunified. Both sides still claim sovereignty over the territory administered by one another and have no official diplomatic relations, yet both enjoy international diplomatic recognition. If such an arrangement can work for the two Koreas, why can’t there be two Chinas? Plus, what good is the one-China policy when it clearly has the opposite effect?

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