Sunday, May 23, 2010

Made in Taiwan, China demand by Beijing sparks Taiwan protests

China's practice of economic nationalism means that it is will always move toward reducing or blocking imports while attempting to get those firms to move their production operations to China. It will also use its economic relations with Taiwan to continue the pressure on Taiwan to incorporate.

A good example is this DPA report on China's move to put pressure on Taiwan to mark its exports Taiwan, China.

Taiwan was to persuade China to drop its demand that all Taiwanese goods exported to China must be marked 'Made in Taiwan Province of China,' it was reported Sunday.

'We will not accept China's demand, and will hold talks with China to find a solution,' the Liberty Times quoted Vice Economics Minister Lin Sheng-chung as saying.

'Both Taiwan and China are WTO (World Trade Organization) members, and Taiwan is a separate tariffs territory recognized by WTO,' he said. 'Therefore, China's demand violates WTO rules and hurts Taiwan exporters' interests.'

According to the report, China had stipulated as early as 2005 that Taiwanese goods sold to China be marked as coming from 'Taiwan, China' or 'Taipei, China.'

But the request by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade had not been taken seriously by Chinese customs until recently.

In recent months, several regions in China have begun to screen the source of origin of Taiwanese goods, and rejected those marked 'Made in Taiwan,' the report said.

Just think: China's desire to annex Taiwan is now a formal trade barrier to Taiwan goods entering China. It's good that Taiwan officials will negotiate on that one, but don't expect any progress. China can easily maintain a secret policy of blocking "Made in Taiwan" while piously claiming that it is all error or local issues, as they did with the Olympic formulation of Zhonghua Taibei.

Acceding to this demand would make the Ma Administration unpopular and hurt its chances at the polls. It will be interesting to see whether Beijing pulls back on this one until after the 2012 election, when a Ma victory will make the sellout a foregone conclusion.

The best part of this report was the typo in the historically inaccurate "split in '49" refrain:

LOLz to The Chinese "Rationalists". But note how the next paragraph actually attempts to represent what Taiwan's position is. Good work, DPA.

UPDATE: Don't miss Don's excellent comment below.

Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums!


les said...

If the millions of dollars worth of products I buy from Taiwan every year have to be relabeled "Made in Taiwan, China" then we are moving production back to Europe. No way my customers are buying anything with that label.

Anonymous said...

How to devalue your product in an instant. Add China=Reduce profit margin.

Anonymous said...

Well, if they seriously think that Taiwan is a province of China, why is there a Customs process involved at all? Do other provinces have to put their products through Customs?

@riceagain said...

Both Carrefour ans Auchan (Company that owns RT Mart) place Taiwanese goods in the "Imported" section in their Chinese supermarkets however where other products have a flag for their country of origin, Taiwanese products have a PRC flag.

Tim Maddog said...

MIchael, you wrote:
- - -
Good work, DPA.
- - -

Uh, no. Imagine the "split in 1949" paragraph as a knife followed by the next paragraph as a Band-Aid that's attached with staples -- while the knife is still in.

In fact, because of the words "insists," "breakaway province," "reunification," and "motherland," it's more like a very dirty bandage being placed on an already gangrenous wound.

You also wrote:
- - -
UPDATE: Don't miss Don's excellent comment below.
- - -

What? Where? Is Don one of the anonymous commenters?

@anonymous 4:40 PM: If you realize that Taiwan is not a province of China, then it would be better to not say "other provinces." For the moment, I'm guessing from the context that you meant "any of China's provinces."

Tim Maddog

Michael Turton said...

Tim, I was commending DPA for trying to represent what Taiwan thinks. I already noted the split in 1949 formula sucks.

Tim Maddog said...

Michael, if that counts as DPA "trying to represent what Taiwan thinks," they fail miserably. I can't see the inclusion of "insists," "breakaway province," "reunification," and "motherland" in that so-called "try[]" as being anything but negative.

Looking at the typo again, what's more amazing is that it's a copy-and-paste formulation. How could they get that wrong? Could they have been pwned by a spellchecker or something?

@riceagain: It sounds like you're talking about the Carrefours and Auchans in China, right? If so, do those stores treat Hong Kong's products as "imports" as well?

Tim Maddog