Despite the sunny spin this article puts on expanding Taiwan's tourism and the role cycling plays in the government's scheme, there some dark clouds just on the horizon.
If that figure is correct we can mark 2010 as the year Taiwan gave up its position as an economic center in Asia and became a Chinese periphery... a playground for China's wealthy.
When I first arrived in Taiwan over a decade ago, Taiwan's industrial sector was going strong as the economy shifted from machine tools to information technology. I remember earlier in the 2000's there was heated debate over the matriculation of 12" wafer technology to the Chinese.
The former president Chen Shui-bian touted Taiwan as a "Green Silicon Island".
Those days are over. Taiwan has decided to allow China to be the technology hub of Asia and with ECFA the agricultural sector is nervous.
But at least we have the bicycle... right?
Taiwan Insights continues with:
I am sure this is just a figment of my paranoia, but when Taiwan has nothing anyone really wants, the trade imbalance can have far reaching economic and political consequences. Is this part of a greater political plan to integrate Taiwan into China?
What if China gets angry and turns off the tap?
They stand nothing to lose and Taiwan loses everything.
I have been made aware that China is, in fact, using its economy as a political cudgel. This should be no surprise, but what IS surprising is how deep, far reaching, and orchestrated this effort is.
The CCP/Chinese state is creating an artificial demand for Taiwanese goods and tourism to gain greater leverage over Taiwan's local economies and over local politics. This has gotten to the point where Chinese delegations will purchase goods and even provide services to promote annexation policies.