-- recent gains in position in the WEF, BERI and other rankings are due in large part to the ECFA signing.
-- "Official statistics" also show the impact of ECFA early harvest program:
For instance, China's customs tallies showed that imports of Taiwanese products on the "early harvest" list posted 22 percent annual growth in the first seven months of this year, far higher than the 9.6 percent growth of overall imports from Taiwan during the same period. Similarly, Taiwan's imports from China also increased significantly in the same period, particularly those on the "early harvest" list.Anyone got a problem with them sourcing Chinese stats on the success of a pro-China program? I'd like to see the counterpart stats from Taiwan as well as some independent analysis.
-- benefits have not reached the majority of the population. Indeed the previous week DGBAS, Taiwan's main gov't economic statistics office, reported that agricultural incomes had fallen to their lowest levels in five years. Declining farm prices are hitting farmers, say observers, and such income growth that farmers experience comes from non-farm incomes.
As for agricultural profits for farming families, after the Council of Agriculture modified the DGBAS figures, the figure stood at NT$193,000, declining 8 percent in about two years and representing NT$3,000 less than last year.ECFA had contained sweeteners aimed at farmers, as Beijing crowed, and at convincing southerners to give up their objections to becoming a colonial holding of Beijing after being a colonial holding of Taipei for so long. These have not been successful, as the numbers indicate. It seems intuitively logical that if market share is expanding but incomes are falling, the benefits must be going to middlemen. Or the stats are wrong because Beijing is lying or (more likely) there are lots of fake Taiwan agricultural products in China.
Assuming 3.5 persons for each farming household, per-person income did not amount to NT$55,000 last year, the report said, adding that accounting for those who had left their fields fallow all year, income on agricultural products was only NT$130,000 annually, with total family income at NT$869,000.
Huang Kun-pin (黃崑濱), better known as “Uncle Kun-pin,” said farming was a profession that was “hard both during a good harvest and a bad crop,” adding that if it were not for the NT$6,000 farmers’ subsidy, he did not know what he would live on.
Turning to comments by Council of Agriculture Deputy Minister Huang Yu-tsai (黃有才), who has said that “farmers only work an hour a day,” Huang Kun-pin said he would invite the deputy minister to experience first-hand how farmers live.
Chuang Yu-chih (莊有志), an award-winning rice farmer, said while he had turned 62 this year, he was the youngest farmer in the village.
The Economic Daily News editorial also pointed out that further negotiations have stalled. Worse, Taiwan's share of the China market is falling, and the inbound investment ECFA promoters promised has not materialized. Instead, as many of us pointed out, it has simply accelerated investment from Taiwan into China -- which, after all, was one of Beijing's goals for the agreement.
No FTAs as of yet -- remember when we had to have ECFA so we'd avoid being left behind? Now we have ECFA but are losing market share in China. Sure.
- DPP Chair and Prez candidate Tsai Ing-wen will speak at AEI in DC. With livestream.
- Taiwan's pariah state status makes it a giant hole in global non-proliferation efforts. No shit, guys.
- J Michael's comments on Canadian victim of Chinese honey pot.
- Taiwan stocks take beating
- Poetry contest on science, medicine or health: win $500!
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