Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Another Overwhelming Wave of ECFA Successes

Putting in cables in Kaoshiung.

The Taipei Times reports on the amazing increases decreases in Chinese investment in Taiwan:
Chinese investment in Taiwan in the first quarter plummeted 90.83 percent to US$12.75 million from a year earlier, and investments from other foreign countries also fell in the first quarter by 33.82 percent to US$833.7 million, the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Investment Commission said on Monday. Meanwhile, Taiwanese investment in China grew 28.97 percent in the first quarter from a year ago to top US$2.8 billion, the commission said.
Yes! Chinese investment has reached $12.75 million, or about what my in-laws spent on liquor at the last wedding in the family. Meanwhile capital that could be growing Taiwan is still flowing into China as China continues to be the abyss into which Taiwan's future is poured.

Both ECFA and the current services pact are projects that benefit the 1%: big finance, big corporations, and organized crime. As if in acknowledgement of this, I heard that the DGBAS, the official stats bureau, announced this week that it is going to stop publishing the ratio between the top and bottom of Taiwan's income groups. It will now become more difficult to discuss income inequality in Taiwan. That ratio of top/bottom incomes is a powerful indicator of the level of income inequality in Taiwan, a worsening problem which is linked to two major trends since 1990: financial liberalization, and closeness to China, both of which have been massively beneficial to the 1%.

News from the construction-industrial state: a friend who purchased land on the east coast wants to build a house. In order to do that he needs to grow crops on that land. The local gov't people have to come out to image the crops and verify that the land is planted, which it is, beautifully. Only they are slow in coming. Why? Well, one reason bouncing about the local community is that big hotel developers want a go-slow in the area so nobody opens bed and breakfasts that might compete with them.

See J Michael's latest in The Diplomat on the Anti-Nuke protests. Premier Jiang said that the government will never shutter the nuke plant. Stay tuned. The KMT's probable presidential candidates are all involved in this: Eric Chu, the New Taipei City chief in whose district the plant will function has called for revising the referendum law to bring it up to international standards. Hau Long-bin, the Taipei mayor, has played it close to the vest. Premier Jiang, whom I consider Ma's hand-picked successor, has been the President's attack dog, in the time-honored style of the lower level official saying things the Benevolent Great Leader wants said but cannot because they interfere with his appearance of benevolence. With everyone positioning for 2016, things could get interesting inside the KMT....
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