When considering domestic problems in Taiwan, I feel less inclined to make comparisons with South Korea because conditions prevailing in the two countries are different and their existence on the world’s historical timeline does not match up. If people compare the two nations, it often blurs the focus and perception of the essential factors is lost.
When South Korea’s energy policies are compared with Taiwan’s, where the government and state-owned companies such as CPC Corp, Taiwan and Taiwan Power Co, which have great influence over the basic conditions for manufacturing, are often tied up in conflicts over minor details, one cannot help but wring one’s hands in consternation.
Let us hope the government can keep up with the times and succeed where others have failed. Taiwanese often moan about how little attention they receive from the international community, but how often do they pay careful attention to the world around them? A nation that fails to see the world clearly will always lag behind world trends. Such a nation will never go beyond copying what others have done before it. There are many examples: education reform, energy innovation, currency and reserves, open markets and free trade.
Taiwan now has a new premier, Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺), at the head of a new Cabinet. Let us hope the new Cabinet ministers will think about things in a new way, and that the government will get a better understanding of the nation’s conditions and a clearer view of the world around us.
Chen Yung-feng is executive director of Tunghai University’s Center for Japan Area Studies.
Translated by Julian Clegg