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?
[Taiwan] 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! Delenda est, baby.