Foxconn (富士康) reportedly offered an “off-ramp” bridge to the Sunflower movement and was gently rejected.
As has been well documented in numerous sociological studies, good intentions alone do not guarantee the expected outcome. Often, the disappointment may be traced back to misconceptions emanating from the goodwill itself.
Therefore, where is the rub?
Foxconn was offering job opportunities and telling protesters that Taiwan will have a bright future if integrated with China.
Alas, Foxconn is riding on an economic monorail while the protesters are on a political double-track. They do not see eye-to-eye at all.
Does Foxconn realize its offers are not “the good intention rejected,” not even the pay scale — reportedly less than NT$30,000 per month for an engineer? It is the underlying message that is irking the protesters. Foxconn is saying: “Children, submit yourself, be happy sheep, and I shall feed your belly and be your shepherd.”
Through Foxconn’s binoculars — with its investment locked up in China, a Taiwan shackled by Beijing definitely displays a bright dollar sign.
By offering an off-ramp disguised as an olive branch — hoping to cow the protesters into retreat, Foxconn is also attempting to build a bridge across the Taiwan Strait solely for its own economic benefit.
However, what Foxconn fails to include, or perhaps intentionally ignores in the calculation, is that a bridge always serves two directions and allows both commercial and military vehicles.
A dinosaur can easily quash a pigeon. A two-way bridge just makes it easier.
If that ever happens, Foxconn will face a choice of no choice. It will either not have a chance to offer goodwill anymore or be told to offer one any time at a master’s whim.
Foxconn: Thanks, but no thanks.