Thu, Aug 20, 2015 - Page 8 News List

[ LETTERS ]

India worth the risk

This letter is in response to Tsering Namgyal’s article (“Taiwan tech sector ready for India foray,” Aug. 14, page 8).

It might have been worth noting that Chinese companies are more interested in moving into India than Taiwanese companies. Just think about Huawei and Xiami, both of which are moving in fast. China’s railway companies are all set to go and construct big networks in India — if India will only let them.

In fact, Chinese companies would probably move in faster if it were not for the Indian authorities who are putting obstacles in the way of Chinese companies in the name of “security.” Taiwan should be able to benefit from this, but Taiwanese, like most “island” people, are risk averse.

I do not think mass manufacturing will shift in a large way out of China. The supply chain is already in China and the margins are already thin, so it will stay in China and slowly die. The next phase of manufacturing, with embedded software and robots, will move to India. That is the future and margins are better.

So India will not “beat” China — it will just play a different game.

Taiwan’s perceptions and actions are understandable to some degree. Most of East Asia, including even poorer countries such as Vietnam, are better linked than India is with East Asia. And we are not talking about flights either.

When I told an intelligent and well-connected lady in Taiwan’s fund industry that India is no more difficult a place to do business than China, she replied: “Well at least we eat the same food.”

Such reactions are not to be dismissed lightly, but ultimately it is true that those who seek comfort will fail and those who take risks, in food as in other things, will succeed.

South Korea took the risk with India long ago and is reaping the dividends. Japan has only moved in recently. Neither country finds India or Indians “easy,” but they have made their moves. Have no doubt, Taiwan will, in its own way, move to India in a big way.

N. Balakrishnan

Hong Kong

Soong a political actor

People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) is a political actor in many aspects.

Soong asked his supporters to put mud on his face and white shirt, and jokingly said that if they were in the White Terror era, they would be shot to death.

His mud show was in bad taste, treating Taiwan’s tragedy as a joke, and public complaints as mud. Soong forgets that he was an official in a bad government.

In response to a criticism of Soong’s banning the speaking of Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese) and Hakka while he was head of the Government Information Office, he said that he did not invent the policy so he was not responsible. Using his logic, murderers using poison gases, guns or knives would not be guilty since they did not invent these weapons.

On Dec. 10, 1979, many Taiwanese staged a peaceful demonstration in Kaohsiung for democracy and freedom while under the one-party dictatorship of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). Soong labeled them as “violent and rebellious people.”

One of them was sentenced to life in prison and several others received jail terms of between 12 and 14 years.

On a recent political talk show, Soong spoke a few phrases of Taiwanese, Hakka and two Aboriginal languages when defending the dialect-banning policy. Soong used the simple phrases to show he is not against dialects now that he is trying to gain votes.

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