A recent article written by David Crouch (“Finland: Not as bad as Greece, but it’s only matter of time,” April 20, page 9) actually shed light on Taiwan’s future.
Finland’s economy relies greatly on the information technology industry, which helped Finland create the “Oulu miracle” and the Nordic model. However, with the collapse of Nokia, and Microsoft’s shifting information technology jobs abroad, unemployment in Finland has climbed to more than 17 percent. This trend provides an imperative for Finland to channel its information technology talents to other industries or to set up new businesses.
Likewise, the industry helped Taiwan to create an economic miracle dubbed a “tiger economy.” However, the peaks and troughs in the information technology life cycle also make Taiwan vulnerable. A lesson learned from Finland is that Taiwan cannot keep on relying exclusively on the industry. It is important to unleash part of those talents to other industries to dilute the risk. Agriculture certainly is one of the options.
Taiwan’s policymakers used to turn their backs on agriculture because of its labor intensity. However, the weather in Taiwan actually provides a competitive edge for developing agriculture.
Taiwan can also add value to agriculture in several ways. For example, agriculture can integrate with tourism to attract tourists. Farms could also run restaurants touting farm-to-table menus to attract customers. They could also sell souvenirs, such as cakes made from the plants grown at the farms.
In these ways, Taiwan could reinvigorate its agricultural industry by increasing its profitability. It could also provide market incentives to attract younger generations.
In November last year, a man struck a woman with a steel bar and killed her outside a hospital in China’s Fujian Province. Later, he justified his actions to the police by saying that he attacked her because she was small and alone, and he was venting his anger after a dispute with a colleague. To the casual observer, it could be seen as another case of an angry man gone mad for a moment, but on closer inspection, it reflects the sad side of a society long brutalized by violent political struggles triggered by crude Leninism and Maoism. Starting
The year 2020 will go down in history. Certainly, if for nothing else, it will be remembered as the year of the COVID-19 pandemic and the continuing impact it has had on the world. All nations have had to deal with it; none escaped. As a virus, COVID-19 has known no bounds. It has no agenda or ideology; it champions no cause. There is no way to bully it, gaslight it or bargain with it. Impervious to any hype, posturing, propaganda or commands, it ignores such and simply attacks. All nations, big or small, are on a level playing field
The US last week took action to remove most of the diplomatic red tape around US-Taiwan relations. While there have been adjustments in State Department “Guidelines on Relations with Taiwan” and other guidance before, no administration has ever so thoroughly dispensed with them. It is a step in the right direction. Of course, when there is a policy of formally recognizing one government (the People’s Republic of China or PRC) and not another (the Republic of China or ROC), officials from the top of government down need a systematic way of operationalizing the distinction. They cannot just make it up as
Like a thunderbolt out of the blue, with only 11 days remaining of US President Donald Trump’s term, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday last week announced that the US Department of State had, effective immediately, lifted all “self-imposed” restrictions on how US diplomats and other government officials engage with their Taiwanese counterparts. Pompeo’s announcement immediately triggered a backlash. Criticisms leveled by former US National Security Council director for China, Taiwan and Mongolia affairs Evan Medeiros, who served in the administration of former US president Barack Obama, were representative of the disapproving reaction. “The administration is over in two weeks…