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The other day I was watching a documentary on the history of hand-held weapons on TV, and of course they talked about how gun powder was first invented in China. My Hong Kong friend immediately commented that if we (Chinese people) back then could see the simple extended application of it and invented guns and cannons, the world would've been colonized by the Chinese instead. Then I started thinking: Do we Chinese people always fall short of the next big thing because we tend to become complacent and arrogant? We engineered the world's most advanced navigation system and discovered the world 80 years before Colombus, and we simply stopped there. We invented paper and printing but we failed to educate our people like the west did. |
Then I started thinking if this trait still exist among the Chinese today. First of all, lets look at the Chinese I'm most familiar with: Taiwanese Chinese. Although Taiwan is believed to have achieved an economic miracle, there has been no sustained signs of growth ever since the 90s. Indeed, Taiwanese people, much like their Chinese ancestors who invented paper, compass, and gun powder, simply stopped there because they became complacent. In addition to this ill-advised complacency, many Taiwanese people have also developed a false sense of pride, or arrogance - a feeling of superiority over their compatriots across the straight. These people have become complacent because they are either very rich or they are blind followers of the pro-independence rhetorics. Either way, they are out of touch with economic reality.... or the simple reality that exports accounts more than 30% of Taiwan's GDP and that more than 40% of Taiwan's production lines have been moved to China. Taiwan's once very profitable transport business has also experienced a fast decline. Big foreign transport/frieght companies are now considering leaving Taiwan, if they haven't already. If there is no breakthrough on direct links with China, Taiwan's unemployment rate will be on the rise soon.
Taiwanese people have been misled by their DPP government, which says its "contribution to democracy" is a cornerstone of Taiwan's prosperity when it's everything but. The matter of fact is that those who tout Taiwan independence and those who follow it have different interests and motives than the majority of the hardworking middle-to-upper class businessmen in Taiwan.