Tue, Apr 03, 2018 - Page 8 News List

The perils of investing or relying on China

By Shih Ming-hsiung 施明雄

The Taiwanese film Missing Johnny (強尼.凱克) was scheduled to premiere in China this month, but because Lawrence Ko's (柯宇綸) father, director Ko I-chen (柯一正), in the past made pro-Taiwanese statements, his son was branded a “pro-independence artist” and the film was blocked, as any film in which he is involved is barred from making money in China. This is yet another instance of China’s domineering and nefarious behavior.

In February, Zhangzhou Taiwanese Businessmen Association honorary chairman Lee Jung-fu (李榮福) voiced his support for the policies of Taiwan’s popularly elected president at a Straits Exchange Foundation activity.

As a result, he was expelled from the businesspeople’s association, under Chinese pressure of course, and all exchanges between him and Chinese companies were severed.

Lee is a Taiwanese who has invested in China, employs Chinese workers and helps China’s economic development. What is wrong about supporting the leader of his own country?

In a forced confession, he had to spend huge sums of money on half-page ads in the Chinese-language United Daily News and China Times to apologize and say that his statement had hurt the feelings of compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, in addition to voicing his opposition to Taiwanese independence and his support for the so-called “1992 consensus.”

It should not be forgotten that, in 1990, Taiwan allowed veterans to return to China, taking with them 40 years of savings and building homes there for their families. Businesspeople with their pockets full of New Taiwan dollars and US dollars went traveling in China, and some took advantage of the cheap labor to invest in factories. Before long, a lot of processing plants had relocated to China.

A friend who spent time in prison for his Marxist ideas took the few million NT dollars that he had managed to save after his release and earned from selling family property, and crossed the Taiwan Strait to help out poverty-stricken socialist China.

He ended up losing it all, because two people ganged up with local partners and took him to court. The experience upset him so much that he had a stroke. Unless you have Chinese contacts and bribe local leaders, it is not possible to succeed.

China later managed to get its act together, and now everyone has to do exactly as it says.

The result of Taiwanese risk-taking is that China has become wealthy, and after 5,000 years of authoritarianism, its first thought is to invade neighboring countries, as can be seen from several conflicts with the Soviet Union, India and Vietnam. Now Taiwan, which it was too weak to invade in the past, is a target for annexation.

There have been preposterous reports that China could crush Taiwan’s national defense in just three days, but that ignores the security cooperation among Taiwan, the US, Japan and South Korea, as well as the peace of all Asia-Pacific countries.

Even though several million people in Taiwan still cleave to China and want unification, they do not want to forgo the nation’s superior heathcare and retirement benefits.

Will the Chinese Communist Party’s missiles and bombs really be able to differentiate between pro-independence and pro-China supporters?

Taiwanese who want to make money in China must learn restraint and avoid saying what they think in public, but there is no need for them to say what they think — all they have to do is vote for the party that they support.

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