Sunday, November 11, 2012

Hahaha Give Wealthy Chinese Investors Residency to Solve Demographic Problems

Yes, they really went there....(FocusTaiwan):
The time has become right to consider allowing Chinese immigrants into Taiwan through investment, to help tackle Taiwan's fast-aging population and lift its dwindling economy, Minister of Economic Affairs Shih Yen-shiang said Thursday. "Taking Taiwan's long-term development into consideration, the worsening demographic issue must be handled carefully to maintain the country's momentum for sustainable economic growth,"
First, just the comic angle of importing Chinese investors as residents to handle the aging poplation and low birth rate.... just how old does the Minister think people able to make decimillion investments in Taiwan are going to be? In their twenties, each with ten kids? But when you think about this further, it becomes even more comic... because such wealthy investors will be living in Taiwan, presumably off their investments, which will likely be capital investments... and which will be (drum roll please) not taxed very much, because Taiwan has ultra low taxes on such individuals (see this post). So far from helping the economy, it will actually put an additional burden on the middle class individuals who actually pay the taxes that keep the government afloat.

The obvious issue is to make it easy for professionals to immigrate and work and set up businesses. All the developed nations suffer from the aging population issue to some extent, but it is severe in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan, precisely because immigration to those nations is difficult because they define citizenship in terms of "blood". The "low birthrate" problem isn't a "low birthrate" problem. It's an immigration mentality problem. As long as the KMT defines citizenship in terms of Volk rather than birth to a citizen, and thinks of a citizen in a parochial rather than international way, Taiwan will struggle.

...and that brings up the other issue here. Lurking in this invitation to wealthy Chinese investors is the underlying primal instinct of Chinese nationalist expansionists to flood any targeted territory with Chinese -- witness the problems of Tibet and East Turkestan. For years the KMT has been trying to get Chinese labor over here, a suggestion that dates back to the 1990s and keeps being revived in various forms. But here is an entirely new approach....

...another idea lurking here, of course, is the China Cargo Cult: all that wealth in China, if we keep inviting it, if we keep suggesting ways to bring it here, if we keep announcing that we want, through magical thinking and official incantation, it will come over and save Taiwan from whatever it needs saving from at the moment -- demographic decline, poor economic growth, you name it, someday those planes loaded with Cargo will land. In the KMT view, China is the all-purpose solution to Taiwan's problems. Hey, how's that ECFA thing treating ya these days, Cargo Cultists?
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Anonymous said...

There are thousands of other foreign nationals who would love to be citizens. Why not extend the offer to everyone? Oh yeah... racism.

Aris Teon said...

Thanks for your post, it's very interesting. I absolutely agree with you. I would just like to remark that a lot of countries have this "blood" issue. Just look at the extreme right-wing parties in Europe who become more and more aggressive as more and more immigrants come in. Other than the USA, which has always been multi-ethnic, many countries have issues of national and "racial" identity.

Readin said...

"There are thousands of other foreign nationals who would love to be citizens. Why not extend the offer to everyone? Oh yeah... racism."

Or perhaps it is culture. It is a lot easier to assimilate people who come from a similar culture. Also you are more likely to want people in your country who have ideas that are similar to yours.

I'm not saying that it isn't racism - I'm just saying racism isn't the only possibility.

Thoth Harris said...

The only currently important way to combat the demographic problem is to avoid and reverse the brain drain to places like Canada and...China.

It's not gonna happen though.

Feiren said...

ursTaiwan does have an investor scheme for non-PRC foreigners although the last time I checked the regulations setting out the details (like how much you have to invest) had not been issued yet.

Let's keep in mind that this is just a trial balloon from the MOEA. I agree it's a bit worrying that they are floating this kind of idea, but I think it's pretty unlikely in the near future.

Jerome Besson said...

Old recipe in new dressing.

In the 1930's, the Gubernatorial Offiice of Japanese Taiwan launched a campain to advertise Taiwan, that sleepy backwater of the Empire, to Japanese elites who could not care less. Those Japanese elites'dream meant a passage to Marseilles, Le Havre or Southampton. As second choice, Shanghai, also known as the Paris of the Far-East, would do, too.

Eighty years later Chinese elites are reasoning along the same line of thinking. And they are not dupes. Why go for second best when you can afford the best and safest?

Rather than investing in a Taiwan that islikely to go the way of the Ryukyus any day, those Chinese elites, starting with the princelings, prefer investing in Hokkaido marshlands, Yamanashi springwater or a business space in downtown Niigata.

Chinese Taipei are a bunch of hopeless colonials, the
dregs the home country foisted on Japanese Taiwan.

wasabi said...

Please, this is just the next step in Ma's plan to hand Taiwan over to China. Just look at how much Taiwan has had to rely on China ever since Ma took over. The next step will be anyone from China who invests 1,000NT can become a citizen.

Anonymous said...

The Chinese initiated massive immigration of Han Chinese into Tibet, East Turkistan ("Xinjiang") and Inner Mongolia to "thin out" the locals.

Same strategy here.

Like his parents, Ma is a Chinese Nationalism Fundamentalist.

SY said...

>>Same strategy here.

I should further explain that, for thousends of years throughout the imperial China, it has always been China's instinctive strategy upon acquiring a new territory to implement the strategy of "fortifying and defending boundary territories" ("邊防建設") via the so-caled "屯田屯兵制"; literary: "a systematic fortification by landing redisent-soldiers and resident-farmers on the territory."

Boroughs (fortified communities/towns) were set up and then used as bases for further expansion of Chinese presence.

For instance, as part of its implementation of "屯田屯兵制", the Tang Empire (618-906AD) set up a 軍戶軍籍男丁世襲制 (a registry of 'service' households and residencies to grant heriditary rights to male offsprings) upon acquiring East Turkistan ("Xinjieng".)

Essentially, the PRC has been applying the same strategy in all its frontier territories, of which Taiwan is viewed as one.

The Ma regime is basically converting Taiwan into a frontier territory of China. Whether the frontier territoy is eventually called a SAR or gets to retain the banner of ROC, i.e. whether there will be a ceremonial unification or not, will be of no importance once the conversion is completed.

The conversion includes the disarmament of Taiwan. Ma has been eager to do away with the current obligatory military service for all healthy young men, his current plan is to achieve it by 2015. Today's (Nov 13, 2012) editorial of Liberty Times describes it as reckless and calls for a rethinking.

Readin said...

@SY "The conversion includes the disarmament of Taiwan. Ma has been eager to do away with the current obligatory military service for all healthy young men, his current plan is to achieve it by 2015."

Wasn't it the DPP that cut the military service time in half, from 2 years to 1 year?

MKL said...

I think Readin has a good point.

les said...

You can see the logic in this though. Chinese investors already seem to own half the luxury apartments built in this latest housing bubble... next logical step is to let them come live in them. Maybe some Taiwanese will get jobs as maids and repairmen to service them.
OTOH, the upper middle-class Shanghaiese I know don't like their maids to come from other, poorer provinces. They will want to bring their own menials with them.

SY said...

Readin wrote: "Wasn't it the DPP that cut the military service time in half, from 2 years to 1 year?"


1. It was the (KMT-controlled) military that took the initiative to propose the plan in 2005.

The bill was passed in 2005 by (KMT-controlled) Legislative (Parliament).

To say that it's "the DPP that cut the military service time in half" is an overstatement.

2. The 2005 bill was to reduce the military service from "one year and ten months" in 2005 decrementally to "one year" in 2008. That's all. It NEVER envisioned a total removal of military service.

There is a huge difference between training all your healthy young men for one year for them to be able to defend your country any day of their lifetime and depriving them of the skills and ability altogether.

3. Two months after assuming the presidency on May 20, 2008, Ma Ying-Yeou announced at a private association's annual gathering* on July 29, 2008 his plan to do away with military service.

There had not been any public debate or any form of public deliberation beforehand. The KMT/CPP controlled media ensured that the news not be made big and there be no discussion after his announcement. It was simply announced in dim light at the secured gathering of a KMT's inner circle*; public eyes were swiftly shielded away and that's that.

The choice of such a private association's gathering for the announcement of such a huge national security policy change was not accidental. It was to avoid awakening public scrutiny. The timing (two months after assuming office) showed its priority and was also to take advantage of the fact that the then totally defeated DPP could not rally to put up a fight.

Ma (read: the CCP-KMT alliance) came prepared absolutely.

* The full name of the July 29, 2008 gathering was 「二○○八年全球玉山高峰論壇暨台灣玉山科技協會年會」, a non-productive connection-minded let's-eat-together.

The association's members are hi-tech professionals of primarily KMT and mainlander (Wai-sheng-ren) descendents; very pro-KMT and pro-China.

See who are on their board (all mainlander descendents and KMTers):