Friday, May 21, 2010

Good Economic News -- Growth Skyrockets on China growth and trade recovery

Businessweek has the skinny:
Taiwan’s economy grew at the fastest pace in more than 30 years last quarter on surging sales of computer chips and display panels to China, as it heals ideological wounds with its neighbor in favor of trade ties.

Taiwan, Singapore and Japan all reported yesterday that growth accelerated in the first quarter, boosted by a rebound in global trade. In Taiwan, which outpaced China’s 11.9 percent expansion, policy makers are weighing the risk of raising interest rates from a record low against fallout from the debt crisis sparked by Greece, after April export orders from Europe fell 11 percent from the previous month.

“Taiwan benefited a lot from a rebound in the Chinese economy,” said Tony Phoo, an economist at Standard Chartered Plc in Taipei. “The economy is still prone to external uncertainty, with the Greek crisis already feeding into the export data.”

The statistics bureau yesterday raised its 2010 GDP growth projection to 6.14 percent from 4.72 percent, and its annual inflation forecast to 1.4 percent from 1.27 percent. The Central Bank of the Republic of China (Taiwan) has kept its benchmark interest rate at 1.25 percent since March last year to help extract the island from its deepest recession on record.


The planned trade accord with China has attracted overseas investors, spurring Taiwan’s dollar in April to its biggest monthly advance since September. The currency reached NT$31.269 per U.S. dollar on April 27, the strongest since August 2008.

The Taiwan dollar dropped 0.1 percent to NT$32.140 against its U.S. counterpart as of 11:48 a.m. today, according to Taipei Forex Inc. The island’s benchmark Taiex stock index fell 2.3 percent to 7,255.67, poised for its lowest close since Feb. 8.

“Investors are losing confidence,” said Robyn Hsu, who helps manage $3 billion at Capital Investment Trust Corp. in Taipei. “Taiwan’s gross domestic product growth will slow through the year despite a very stunning first-quarter figure yesterday. Falling commodity and gold prices suggest investors are retreating even from relatively safe markets.”

Lessee..... according to one of those investor rating thingies, Taiwan has the eighth most competitive economy in the world. Hookay.

Whatever you might think of our actual competitiveness, our current investments in and trade with China, the result of policies of the Lee Teng-hui and Chen Shui-bian administration, have growth skyrocketing on China's growth, and growing world trade. Tell me again why we need ECFA? So we're not marginalized "like North Korea" as Regional Administrator Ma informs us?

Apparently it is possible to achieve solid growth without ECFA.

ECFA isn't a panacea for marginalization. What it really is, is just another status quo policy that will enable Taiwan to continue doing what it is doing now without having to move forward with progressive, future oriented policies. Ma talks a lot about the future, but the truth is that most of the KMT's policies are status quo policies. The China-oriented policies of the KMT are largely status quo, from bringing Chinese students into Taiwan to save our low-end universities -- many of them run by families or firms with old connections to the KMT -- and forego the need to upgrade the university system. Chinese tourists mean that the tourist infrastructure won't need to be upgraded to international levels, new markets cultivated and developed, and new languages and mores learned. We can just expand whatever tourist infrastructure we have now to galactic scale. ECFA is simply going to pickle the current economy in the brine of faux globalization.

What do we really need? Example: I attended a presentation by a former Taiwan teacher now with a publishing company overseas. He began his presentation by noting that last year, 200,000 students in South Korea took the TOEFL... but not for college. No, they were trying to gain entry into Korea's English High Schools. How many English High Schools does Taiwan currently plan to implement?

Why do I ask such stupid questions?
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MJ Klein said...

hey Michael, could you please post the direct like and not a go-through on Facebook? thanks.

Michael Turton said...

Done thanks man!

mx said...

Here are a few internet finds to share:

1. Cool pic of Damshui

2. Extreme landslide youtube

3. Taipei Biking animated gif

4. nasa high res oil spill pic

5. Columbia U Gulf of Mexico ultradeep oil - informative pdf

6. BP Fails Booming School 101 Gulf Oil Spillyoutube

7.CSBA AirSea Battle May 2010 pdf

Don said...

This from the BBC piece:

"We will spare no effort to defend the sovereignty of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the dignity of Taiwan," Mr Ma pledged during a recent televised debate with Ms Tsai.

Clearly the BBC adds "Taiwan" in brackets for the benefit of readers who would assume "Republic of China" means China itself. But doing so blurs the vital distinction that Ma is drawing with his choice of words. In effect this deepens the international confusion about what is going on between Taiwan and China -- and in that sense the BBC is passing up one of its responsibilities as a reputable news organization.

Here's why: Ma can never say the "sovereignty of Taiwan", only the "sovereignty of the ROC". The crafty fuck adds "Taiwan" at the end of the same sentence to give the unwary the impression he is talking about Taiwan. But he is not, under any circumstances, talking about Taiwan. In the KMT playbook, the ROC is a constitutionally legitimated entity which enjoys diplomatic recognition from a handful of its international peers. The territory and people of Taiwan form part of that entity. But that doesn't mean Taiwan is entitled to sovereignty any more than my back garden is.

The CCP substantially agrees with the KMT on this, though emphasizing to domestic and international audiences that it tolerates the ROC's continued quasi-existence as a temporary and peaceful prelude to "reunification", the alleged alternative being blood and fire.

What the rest of us know, however, is that the twisted twins are full of shit. The ROC is a fiction sustained in the grubby interest of the KMT and the CCP, and at the cost of the just and fair aspiration of Taiwanese people for peace, freedom and self-determination in their own land.

When Ma and his ilk talk about sovereignty they mean only the (to them) legally-registered shell company, the ROC, not its asset, the territory and people of Taiwan.