Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Blast from the Past: The first opening in the late 1970s

My son dragged down some boxes from upstairs yesterday and I spent some time sorting through them. I finally found some old newspaper clippings I've been looking for on China's first opening to Taiwan in 1981, which included the first trickle of visitors to China via Hong Kong in the late 1970s, and was built on regular smuggling operations that had been going on throughout the 1970s. I have another clipping on PVC smuggling which said that in 1980 (recalling from memory) so much PVC was smuggled from Taiwan it accounted for a year of Chinese demand. The investment surge of the 1990s was thus built on regular contacts that had been ongoing since at least the mid-1970s.

I have more clippings elsewhere, which I will put up as I find them. Click directly on the images to go to the Flickr page where you can view from in large size.

Note that trade was duty free -- tariffs were imposed later but I don't know when. Hence the current situation in which Taiwan is negotiating with China to reduce tariffs is another artificial situation created by Beijing to generate leverage for itself. Click on read more to view two more images below...

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Anonymous said...

All of the trade across the Taiwan strait in the 70s and 80s, while encouraged by mainland China, was highly illegal in Taiwan. I was involved in the prosecution of a Taiwanese who was exporting machine tools to Fujian (he was later pardoned by LTH). The article seems to suggest it was mostly homesick mainlanders who were crossing the strait back then but actually, most of these early traders and investors were pre 49 Taiwanese seeking their fortunes rather than lost relatives.

Sean said...

This article is too much. It's actually expecting Ralph Jennings to fact check. The same guy insisted that Taiwanese has no ambitions and claims that it doesn't even possess a startup scene.