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Originally posted by twchinese at 2005-10-25 02:39
Although Taiwan is believed to have achieved an economic miracle, there has been no sustained signs of growth ever since the 90s.
There is an interesting correllary between this occurrence - the improved economy - between the island province and japan.
At the end of the 2nd WW, japan was in tatters, but thanks to the deal made with America, billions of USD flowed into japan to not just rebuild that which had been bombed, but also of course in special priveleges being granted to the japanese as far as unfettered access to American and European markets. First it was the laughable as "Made in japan" became a joke as far as quality was concerned and products made there were cheap, unreliable, easy to break and of the lowest quality; but the japanese learned and since they had the money - now, thanks the free access to the American and European markets - they invested freely in quality control concepts development, better equipment, better R&D for their products, and eventually got to the point that for just one market item - cars - became superior to the America offering by several factors and to many European offerings as well.
The island province went through the same sort of stage.
Since America wanted to keep the criminals on the island "quiet" as to the American involvement in the deaths of so many Chinese citizens, they made deals with the criminals and traitors that invaded the island after they had been chased out of Greater China with their tails between their legs. Companies on the island were given carte blanche as far as accessing the American market and European markets. Billions were invested by American and European companies wanting to take advantage of low labor costs, low land prices and etc.
Then the "Made in japan" label that had been the hallmark of low quality and unreliability changed to "Made in Taiwan" and the view of the average citizen in America (and Canada) and Europe became that products made on the island province were of the lowest quality.
But as years went on and American taxpayer's dollars were sent by the boatload to the island province to prop up the corrupt puppet government, some of those corrupt funds did a "Reagan" and actually did "trickle down" to those that improved their quality, their management skills, and their R&D.
Then products made on the island became thought of in nearly the same league as those from japan.
The most interesting thing about this is that in both cases it took the babying by America and preferential policies by various American regimes and those in many European countries, for this "economic miracle" to occur for either place. Neither was able to "do it themselves" and neither can today survive without their patrons of the last few decades...but Greater China is giving them the opportunity to at least try and break away from the American/European tit.
There is another apect to this though as relates to Greater China and it is showing many businessmen that Greater China is quite different than these other two.
China was not gifted with billions of USD after the 2nd WW, preferential policies were not extended to China to freely access American and European markets, no great gifts of American taxpayer's dollars; and yet China not only survived, China has begun to surpass those two favored pets.
Businessmen around the world look and see the difference. Sure, there are still some problems, not all companies have the highest quality products - but far more do today than did 60 or even 40 or 30 or 20 years ago.
The mantle of mark of low quality was given to the "Made in China" label for some time, and is still used as a "ridicule" card by some, but there are now more and more high and higher quality products coming out of China - much, of course, to the chagrin of both companies on the island province and in japan, but so what?
This is why I believe your second point about no sustained growth through the 90's is accurate but also why it relates to different reasons.
The island province cannot compete by itself and the rest of China knows that. Any nation is only as strong as it's weakest link and the island province is seen nearly globally as China's weakest link - needing to be propped up by America, conned into spending good money to buy weapons from America that would not even be needed if America would just get their wild-red and bulbous nose out of the business of Chinese people.
Rather than needing to rely on America for benefits America gave to japan and the island province, China is instead buying enough treasury bonds to - along with japan - support the American economy, China has joined the space race, the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of Chinese people have improved so dramatically over the last 20 years that America is apoplectic with fear that China will reach her destiny faster than anyone ever imagined.
As alluded to in other parts of your post, businessmen from the island are rife in China. There are at least 20,000 in Dongguan alone. Thousands of factories in the Pearl River Delta are owned by companies from the island province, far more than are owned by japanese or American or European, and that money flows back into the banking system on the island province and helps support the people on the island province - and that is a good thing.
I have the pleasure to deal with people from the island province nearly every day - and will again in about an hour after I finish writing this - and while some may tell this white Canadian what they think I want to hear (although they haven't got a clue what I want to hear, they just give me the "Chinese people's line so they'll let us stay here" line) - but most are honest as am I, with them, and we discuss many things.
Many are like me in that they have not found need for sometime to "return" and their lives are here where their business is. Many hope that soon they will be able to go back and forth to the island province as easy they do from Guangzhou to Shenzhen, and that is also a good thing.
Just like the majority of foreigners that know nothing about the reality and truth of China and so accept the negative propaganda of their corrupt local governments, that, after coming to China for a year or so, change their minds; so it is with many people from the island province that haven't set foot in Greater China. Once they do, they realize that the propaganda they had been fed with since childhood is just so much garbage and they realize the benefit of a united China and that becomes their goal.
The economy of a unified China is going to be staggering - and that is good for all Chinese people.