Thursday, March 06, 2014

Free Economic Zones = Mini Banana Republics

Rift valley near Yuli, rain.

The Ma government's return to the industrial zone policies of the 1960s and 1970s has an interesting twist. The DPP pointed out:
The project aims to establish free economic pilot zones in Keelung Port, Suao Port in Yilan County, Taipei Port, Taichung Port, Anping Port in Greater Tainan, Kaohsuing Port, the Taoyuan Aerotropolis in Taoyuan County and the Pingtung Agricultural Biotechnology Park to demonstrate a model for business convenience and liberalization.

“Thirty-three of the 73 articles in the special act are blank authorizations, which give almost unlimited authority to administrative bodies of the free economic pilot zones,” DPP Legislator Wu Ping-jui (吳秉叡) said.


Judging from the draft act, the administrative authority of a free economic pilot zone would be granted more power than the Executive Yuan, because the authority would be able to govern a wide range of areas — environmental protection, labor affairs, construction, commercial registration, licensing, taxation and personnel, among others, DPP lawmaker Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) said.

Moreover, as individuals and companies in the free economic pilot zones would be exempt from legislation such as the Regional Plan Act (區域計畫法), the Urban Plan Act (都市計畫法), the Environmental Impact Assessment Act (環境影響評估法) and the Government Procurement Act (政府採購法), the mechanism could jeopardize the legal system, Tsai said.
Readers will recall that the first discussion of whether to bring in Chinese workers took place in the 1990s. Nationalist ideologues like Ma and the mainlander elites that actually run the KMT have long wanted to do that, because a key expansionist tactic of the Chinese has been to flood a newly annexed area with their own people and assimilate and marginalize the original population. Looky here -- the new areas which the government is promoting under its globalist rubric are exempt from the government procurement act and have authority over their own labor affairs. I've heard that in Taiwan certain businesses are already bringing in Chinese workers for the hospitality industry under the rubric of "internships" and "scholarships." This will likely only accelerate in these new zones since they will be able to issue exemptions and set up special progams. Remember, when the Ma government says "globalization" it means "sinicization".....
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1 comment:

Nathan W. Novak (李漢聲) said...

". . . [B]ecause a key expansionist tactic of the Chinese has been to flood a newly annexed area with their own people and assimilate and marginalize the original population."

Good point. And this process has been in more remote historical epochs preceded by full-scale removal and/or slaughter of the native population or at least those who would not be assimilated. This would be common knowledge, but "common knowledge" is, conveniently, mostly taken from Chinese sources. Hence, the myth of the "benevolent" and "peaceful" China and Sino-centric order.