Sun, Apr 03, 2005 - Page 8 News List

Hsu's letter a timely lesson for everyone

Northern, Central, Eastern and Southern Taiwan Societies

The letter by Chimei Corp chairman Hsu Wen-lung (許文龍), "In Support of one China," published in a local newspaper on March 26, has caused great harm to the interests of Taiwan and its people. As Taiwanese and intellectuals, we feel compelled to declare our view of Hsu's action.

First, any company investing in any country must first assess the risk of investing in that country. Doing so is common sense. China is a totalitarian communist regime not ruled by law. Because they know that, companies from around the world invest there very cautiously. By comparison, Taiwanese companies show a serious lack of awareness of the risks of investing in China, and they jump at the opportunity to do so.

The high political risk should be shouldered by the companies, and there is no reason why the government should protect these companies or why the Taiwanese public should shoulder the risks. Taiwan and China do not maintain diplomatic relations. Once a Taiwanese company gets in trouble in China, it will be very difficult for the government to give it effective assistance.

Second, the Chinese regime constantly pressures Taiwan and does nothing to conceal its ambition to annex it. Faced with such an enemy, companies investing there show a clear lack of awareness of the difference between friend and foe as well as a total lack of a national awareness. We therefore do not find it strange when Hsu becomes a hostage [to this situation] and betrays both himself and the nation. We do find it regrettable.

Third, the "Hsu Wen-lung incident" has caused irreparable damage both to his own reputation and to national interests. At the same time, it also teaches Taiwanese society an alarming and negative lesson. We and many other social activists have long made many calls and written many articles without being able to counterbalance the magnetic attraction of China to industry.

Sometimes a major incident shakes us up more than the endless exhortations of intellectuals. We hope that the Hsu incident will be able to make society and business review the serious effects of investments in China.

Fourth, our most serious concern is that if this kind of incident is repeated, the accumulated harm will not be limited to a serious deterioration of Taiwan's economic competitiveness. It may even cause the "collective national will" to collapse completely.

Fifth, we demand that the government immediately gives overall reconsideration to the "active opening, effective management" policy of investing in China. If the government is incapable of effectively managing Taiwanese businesspeople investing in China, it will jeopardize our economic development as well as national security, and cause serious harm to the whole country.

China's "Anti-Secession" Law is already being used to hold Taiwanese businesspeople hostage and force them to undertake actions detrimental to Taiwan's national interests. In order to strengthen Taiwan, the government must show decisiveness by putting forward policies to slow corporate investment in China, and improving the domestic investment climate to attract businesspeople back home.

Translated by Perry Svensson

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