With the recent Student protests in Taiwan reached to a breaking point where the Students occupied the Legislative Yuan and Executive Yuan, it seems that the Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement (CSSTA) might be open for renegotiation or disband it in its entirety. While it is within their right for the student to protest against the government about this Trade Agreement, but is it in their best interest to do so? The bigger question is if the student protesters don’t want to be ‘annexed’ by China, are they in danger of trade isolation because of protectionism in their country?
In 2010, China and Taiwan have agreed on the ECFA (Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement) and has brought a lot of benefit to Taiwan. It has allowed many companies for cheaper exports to China and Taiwanese companies to set up presence in China, but there are consequences to this trade agreement. This means that if a talented Taiwanese wanted a prospect for a decent job they will have to move in China to work, which cause this kind of brain drain away from Taiwan. Also, Taiwan have put much restrictions on Chinese citizens to allow them to work in Taiwan so Chinese companies are not as willing to set up presence in Taiwan.
Morever, even with the ECFA signed, it still needs more FTA’s with other countries, namely to compete countries like Japan and South Korea which already have global Conglomerates which Taiwan does not have. China is already following South Korea and Japan’s lead in developing giant companies and set up presence in many 3rd world countries, but faces many restrictions in Western Countries like in Huawei’s case. In CSSTA, it allows Taiwanese companies to start setting up presence in China and in doing so, they can go global. However, CSSTA must go the other way and allow less restrictions for Chinese companies to set up presence in Taiwan.
My fear is that if CSSTA is not passed, Taiwanese companies would be even less competitive and many of these Taiwanese companies would simply wither away leaving Taiwan dependent on Western Companies to set up their presence in Taiwan. This is what is happening in many of the ASEAN countries like Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines. Even worse, if the radical right in Taiwan decides to cut off ties with China would be bad for China and worse for Taiwan.
In recent days, I had some (too many) debates on line with people who challenged Chinese history in various different ways. From the claim of 5000 years of history, to Chinese historical claims on territories.
I thought to ask myself, why such hostility toward Chinese history? Was I that wrong about Chinese history?
As it turns out, I wasn’t. I knew more about Chinese history than most non-Chinese. That’s my identity and my culture. I’m proud of that.
Then, it hit me. My “Chinese-ness” is in my sense of my history as a Chinese person. Without my history, I would not be much of a Chinese. Without Chinese history, China wouldn’t be much of China. It would just be another region with forgotten traditions.
And that would expose China (the region) to take over and foreign influence.
And that’s the REAL reason behind the dispute over history. History is often written by victors. To destroy another, Empires have to resort to destroy their history (sack their temples, burn their records, etc.). Enslaved and Oppressed are often robbed of their history, which robs them of their identity.
“Assimilation” of the Conquered, begins with destruction of identity and history. African Americans and the Native Americans are oppressed minorities, unable to stand up for themselves, because precisely they were robbed of their history and their identity.
Continue reading Destroying History via Imperialistic Propaganda of the West
Into every life a little rain must fall – even that of a behemoth superpower.
Picture the President of the United States and his masters of the universe – more formally known as the American Cabinet – with Ukraine-driven nuclear umbrellas unfurled against a downpour of unexpected setbacks in foreign policy lately.
In the winter of his discontent, Barack Obama must be yearning for the new hope of spring heralded by cherry blossoms of Washington’s Tidal Basin. But he should also heed the Japanese proverb: “ “Though on the sign it is written: ‘Don’t pluck these blossoms’ /it is useless against the wind, which cannot read.”
Indeed, the winds of change have blown against American directives, and scattered its best-laid schemes, from the South China Seas to the West Eurasian plains. Continue reading The Winter of Obama’s Discontent
When I wrote my first commentary on this blog, I outlined three common myths that people frequently believe without question when they think about democratic governance. Obviously, an idea as blindly and fervently worshiped as ‘democracy’ will have far more than just three myths associated with it. I continue my exploration of this ideology by discussing another myth that is frequently accepted without critical examination. Continue reading Yet another myth about democracy: “democracy+capitalism = prosperity”