Wednesday, January 28, 2009

De Facto Slavery Resulting from Putting All Your Business Eggs in China's Basket

Though one may question the level of quality and respectability of Apple Daily and Next Magazine which seem to grab readers with racy photos, founder Jimmy Lai's life story is something of which Taiwanese businessmen should take note. The Ma administration, whose seemingly one and only policy agenda is driving Taiwan towards chain & manacle economic links with China, needs to pay attention, too.

Note that 1. when Jimmy Lai had clothing business interests in China, they only remained operative at the whim of the authoritarian Chinese government. And the minute Jimmy Lai wished to exercise his personal freedom of speech, the Chinese government threatened to close down all his factories.

Note also 2. that Jimmy Lai decided his own freedom was more important than making money at the expense of becoming the Beijing dictatorship's de facto slave.

And finally, note 3. that Jimmy Lai was able to both prosper and remain free, instead of having to say or do whatever the Chinese government demanded.

Remarkably, in this regard, this one man Jimmy Lai seems to have more guts than the governments of quite a few large nations of the world.

A recent BBC article gives this portrait of the man. You can listen to the interview here.

However accurate this portrayal, one certain thing is that Taiwanese businesses should not follow the lead of the current KMT government in Taiwan. Companies need to diversify their exports and factories to other countries such as the Philippines and Southeast Asian nations. Because if all of their focus is China, they will be at the whim and ultimately under the control of a Chinese government whose main purposes in letting you come in and set up shop is 1. to "steal" your technology and manufacturing knowhow by making sure it becomes indigenized in China and 2. to have a way to control you by threatening you with an arbitrary closure of your business and a loss of all your investments there.

It is foolish to put all one's eggs in the basket of China's authoritarian regime where there is no rule of law and no recourse, where rights are not seen as inalienable, but rather condescension and benevolent permissions issued by an all powerful, all ruling one-party state emperor.

NOTE: The following blog reports that Jimmy Lai has compromised when in comes to the KMT regime in Taiwan. There seems to be some deal going on so that Lai has appointed a crony and loyalist of President Ma as head of Next Media. This would tend to result in Next Media putting out a lot of pro-Ma propaganda in Taiwan. If this report is accurate, it shows that Lai is not particularly principled but does things mainly for his own business interest -- at least when it comes to Taiwan.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Lies of China's Supposedly Booming Economy and Taiwan's Economic Salvation Therein

A recent report from the Heritage Foundation finds that all of the rosy economic growth data out of China does not add up. A careful perusal of the numbers leads to their conclusion that:

"The world is going to hear endlessly that, while China is slowing, it is still the fastest-growing economy and other countries would do well to learn from its example. It is closer to the truth that China has suffered more from the financial crisis than any other country in terms of lost growth and jobs." [emphasis added]

If this analysis is correct then there can be no more foolish a policy than the current one under the Chinese Nationalist Party and Taiwan's President Ma Ying-Jeou that is pushing Taiwan towards economic integration with China. The Chinese Nationalist Party is blindly pursuing policies that are weakening Taiwan on every level - militarily, diplomatically, and economically. Their mindless desire to "fight back to their mainland" instilled by 50 years of Leninist dictatorship propaganda and Chiang Kai-shek's pretend China in Taiwan has blinded them to the present reality.

The Taiwanese people -- who believed all of the KMT slick campaign advertisements and promises of a glorious status-quo future with a boundless wonderful economy that will become good quickly under a president Ma -- need to see that there is no truth to the lies and empty promises and foolish notions of this elitist self-serving pro-China KMT party that has pretended it will do what is best for Taiwan.

Related News: It is not just Taiwan's new administration that has blinders towards China. Michael Turton in The View from Taiwan comments on the "noises" from the new U.S. administration about China needing to change its economic policies on its currency --"we are now 7 or 8 presidents into our engagement with China, and most have made similar noises, yet the sacrifice of long-term US strategic and economic interests to short-term business interests and the failure to push for democracy in China has continued unabated."