Comparing apples and ECFAs
At a recent seminar on a proposed economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) hosted by National Taiwan University, Minister of Economic Affairs Shih Yen-shiang (施顏祥), addressing fears of a wage drop in Taiwan under the ECFA, said the North American Free Trade Agreement had not caused average wages to fall in the US.
He may be comparing apples with oranges. Has he considered or does he dare mention that the US economy, which is much bigger and more diversified than Mexico’s, is most likely more absorbent and resilient than Taiwan’s, which is much smaller and less diversified compared with China.
I wonder how familiar Shih is with the North American pact — both its pros and cons.
Act now to save the world
Our environmental safety is under threat from climate change, which presents a formidable challenge. The environmental talks in Copenhagen, Denmark, have made clear the unprecedented danger of climate change. Yet some problems were ignored at the talks.
More than 100 heads of state gathered in Copenhagen and discussed the crisis we face, including melting ice caps, global warming and rising sea levels.
The crux of the problem is that human beings are overly exploiting natural resources — especially in developing countries, where nature is suffering at the hands of aggressive opportunists.
In response to a recent piece in your paper (“Africa must not be forgotten at Copenhagen summit,” Dec. 11, page 9), Africa must strike a balance on environmental issues. The world’s second-largest forested area is located in Africa. Its massive trees are crucial because they turn carbon dioxide into oxygen, yet they are being cut down for profit. This unwise practice will not only hurt biodiversity, but increase the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Africa requires energy to develop its industries. The big problem is, if it can’t find alternatives to fossil fuels, air pollution will worsen. Furthermore, Africa has to preserve its natural resources lest it run out while still developing. It is imperative to preserve natural resources while developing industry at the same time.
In Taiwan, the public has been supporting activities to protect the environment. As Jessica Su wrote in her letter (Letters, Dec. 28, page 8), students at National Taiwan University have organized a group to collect plastic bags for recycling. They collected almost 20,000 plastic bags in the first three days.
We are facing an unprecedented crisis. To avert disaster, we must make every effort to cut carbon emissions and protect biodiversity. This is not just the responsibility of developing countries.
Chinese strongman Xi Jinping (習近平) hasn’t had a very good spring, either economically or politically. Not that long ago, he seemed to be riding high. The PRC economy had been on a long winning streak of more than six percent annual growth, catapulting the world’s most populous nation into the second-largest power, behind only the United States. Hundreds of millions had been brought out of poverty. Beijing’s military too had emerged as the most powerful in Asia, lagging only behind the US, the long-time leader on the global stage. One can attribute much of the recent downturn to the international economic
An outrageous dismissal of the exemplary Taiwanese fight against COVID-19 has been perpetrated by the EU. There is no excuse. I presume that everyone who reads the Taipei Times knows that the EU has excluded Taiwan from its so-called “safe list,” which permits citizens unhindered travel to and from the countries of the EU. As the EU does not feel that it needs to explain the character of this exclusive list, perhaps we should examine it ourselves in some detail. There are 14 nations on the list that have been chosen as safe countries of origin and safe countries of destination for
Filmmakers in Taiwan used to struggle when it came to telling a story that could resonate internationally. Things started to change when the 2017 drama series The Teenage Psychic (通靈少女), a collaboration between HBO Asia and Taiwanese Public Television Service (PTS), became a huge hit not just locally, but also internationally. The coming-of-age story was adapted from the 2013 PTS-produced short film The Busy Young Psychic (神算). Entirely filmed in Taiwan, the Mandarin-language series even made it on HBO’s streaming platforms in the US. It is proof that a well-told Taiwanese story can absolutely win the hearts and minds of hard-to-please