Friday, October 31, 2014

Friday Night Short Shorts: Loquacious Version

In case you've ever looked at your manager and thought: "My god, even a robot could do better than him", your wish will soon be granted. Yes, apparently the local youth, already reeling under stagnant pay and low wages, must now face the threat of robots moving into management positions. The thing is, when they do replace all those managers, will anyone even notice? Besides the KTV girls, I mean. Stat of note from the piece: mid-level management jobs in Taiwan have fallen by 170,000 positions in recent decades.

Good news out of Toronto: the school board voted 20-2 to terminate that Confucius Institute in the school district.

Which is it:
Taiwan GDP Growth Misses Estimates After Food Safety Concerns Bloomberg          Taiwan's economy gains momentum in third quarter MarketWatch
You decide!

The Economist joins the ranks of the many media organizations who have noticed that the Hong Kong protests are affecting Taiwan's already miniscule desire to annex itself to China. This is a major media moment, with many news organizations finally talking openly and clearly about Taiwan's lack of desire to become a satrapy of Beijing. And the Economist, which has always lavished affection on Ma Ying-jeou, said flatly he's one of the most unpopular elected leaders Taiwan has had. It even quoted Ketty Chen in her DPP capacity. Awesome.

The Ting Hsin oil scandal is now hitting its prosecution phase, with prosecutors deciding to indict the owner of the hapless conglomerate with 30 years worth of charges. Some from the pan-Green camp in Taiwan are charging that the company made a deal with the Ma Administration to cover up its involvement in the oil scandal last year, from which it miraculously emerged unscathed. The owner of Cheng-yi, in the Ting Hsing group, was given charges worth a possible 18 years. No doubt they will go through the whole charade of a trial and sentencing and then flee to China like everyone else, where they will continue to run their multibillion dollar conglomerate. The Ting Hsin group was also forced to drop its attempt to become manager of Taipei 101 and banks withdrew loans for land acquisition.

I'd say someone got peeved at Ting Hsin over one of the many deals it was involved in and decided to unmask the firm, but it could just be bad luck. And just before the election too, voters were made aware that the Wei Family and the Lien clan whose scion Sean Lien is stumbling stumping for mayor in Taipei were buddy-buddy, a reminder of the you-scratch-my-back-I-give-you-lucrative-access nature of KMT rule. Also of interest in that scandal, an employee in the Pingtung County government faxed the document confirming that animal feed oil had been used to Ting Hsin "inadvertently", thus tipping the company off to the investigation.

China's construction of islands on reefs in the South China Sea threatens Taiwan. Helicopters from the new bases could reach Taiping in five minutes, claims one legislator. Let's station warships there! he suggests. Taiping island is a strategic disaster for Taiwan, sucking military resources for no strategic return.

ECFA Awesomeness alert: Those ECFA successes just keep rolling in, a tsunami of greatness whose individual accomplishments require banks of supercomputers to track. For example, in the third quarter exports to China rose 6%, while imports from China fell 13%. Hahaha. No, of. course. not, that happened on ECFA Planet, where even Taiwan farts may be canned and profitably exported to China. No, here on Sol Three, exports to China declined 6%, following an overall decline of just over 9% for Q1 and Q2, while imports from China rose 13%. Exports to China have been rising the last few years, so this decline may be an ominous signal. But at least we have ECFA so we are not shut out of China's markets! That's why after ECFA our share of China's market has skyrocketed fallen to just 7.5% while everyone else, even the US whose largest export by weight appears to be bombs and by volume, Obama verbiage, has seen increases in market share this year.

A local sage and observer pointed out that news of China's buying missions has vanished from the intertubes. Have they stopped? Or are they just not being reported? Or what?

Pinch me. New road for Suhua will make it a tourist attraction, while old road will only be open to slower vehicles under 30 kms an hour and BIKES. BIKES BIKES BIKES. Doubly good -- the Chinese tourist herds will be whisked on air conditioned buses to the tourist trap slaughterhouses, while we gambol and cavort on a road preserved just for us. This can't be true.

More news collected at Thinking Taiwan's Taiwan Insider. SOAS in London is hosting Linda Arrigo talking on on the origins of the Taiwan Democracy Movement. Nov 7, at 2. Attend, she's always humorous and interesting, and no one knows more than her about that period.
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!


Anonymous said...

Regarding the data flip-flopping, I've noticed the Taipei Times does this as well on a regular basis. One day its good economic news, the next day its negative.

I've always though how simple would it be to just hang a big white board in their news room to keep track of the economic articles they wrote.

Yeah, I know the writers can look it up on their computers, but that seems to be the problem, nobody does any research or fact checking.

Mike Fagan said...

" It even quoted Ketty Chen in her DPP capacity."

Ketty Chen works for the DPP?