Mon, May 27, 2002 - Page 8 News List


Executives' loyalty clear

Your story on direct links ("Bus-iness leaders begin to polish their resumes," May 23, page 1) raised many questions. For-mosa Plastics Group chairman Wang Yung-ching (王永慶) was quoted as saying that "if the government needs me, I won't reject the call." There is no question that he is eager to help. But it would be nice if he would clarify his statement by telling us to which government he was referring.

At this point, only the Chi-nese government has expressed the desire for Wang's service. Uni-President Enterprises Corp chairman Kao Ching-yuan (高清愿) should clarify his position as well. Kao, another eager citi-zen, was quoted as saying "it's a responsibility that I cannot shirk off." But he also failed to make clear what responsibility he was talking about. The responsibility to ensure the profitability of his enormous operations in China?

On the other hand, your story leaves no doubt about the (lack of) loyalty of these anxious businessmen. One has to admire the honesty of Chinese National Federation of Industries chairman Lin Kun-chung (林坤鐘) when he stated that "everyone is willing to work as middlemen." A middleman is a disinterested party with the sole goal of putting together a deal and walking away with a profit.

The middleman metaphor helps in understanding the statement by Gary Wang (王令麟), chairman of the General Chamber of Commerce, who said "no businessmen will sell out Taiwan." But with so many middlemen -- oops, I mean businessmen -- working tirelessly for the past two decades or so, soon there will be nothing left in Taiwan to sell out. All the middlemen will abandon Taiwan like rats deserting a sinking ship and move on, hopefully to sell out China.

Liu Charng-ming

Boston, Massachusetts

Dollar diplomacy insane

I find it totally inconceivable that Taiwan cannot find the courage to ditch this hugely wasteful and insane "dollar diplomacy" in a period when we badly need that money at home to build infrastructure and upgrade our economy.

Why waste so much money to buy the friendship of corrupt African or Central American dictators, when these same dictators will swiftly shift allegiances as soon as China bids a higher sum?

A list of countries which would have an interest in esta-blishing full diplomatic relationships with Taipei, at zero cost to the Taiwanese taxpayers would include the US, Japan, India, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, Israel and Nepal.

All what President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) needs is to find the strength to pick up the phone and talk to the leaders of the above mentioned countries, then send envoys to make the relevant arrangements.

We may be shocked by the results. Remember, it shocked a lot of people too when the US announced it would establish diplomatic relations with Vietnam in the early 1990s. If Russia and the US can be allies again, and Poland can be part of NATO, surely it is not impossible for Taiwan to enjoy full diplomatic relations with those countries.

Both the Philippines and Indonesia were strong allies of Taiwan for most of the Cold War and have in recent years clashed with China over the Spratlys. India and Vietnam are natural allies, having both been invaded by China in the last half century. Even Nepal would be a good ally because of its strategic location. Nepal has been wracked for decades by a Maoist insurgency funded by China.

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