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Posts Tagged ‘Taiwan’

Huawei accused of saying Taiwan is independent

In China on 17/08/2019 at 1:48 pm

Versace, Coach, Givenchy, and Swarovski faced criticism this week for listing Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan as a separate countries or regions – not part of China – on their official websites or branded T-shirts.

Well now Huawei is accused of implying in its smartphone settings that Taiwan is independent.

[U]sers on Chinese social media Weibo have expressed anger that Taiwan was listed as its own country when the default language in Huawei’s smartphone setting was set to traditional Chinese – the script used in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Mainland China mostly uses simplified Chinese.

“This is outrageous. This is how Huawei repays China?” one user said on Weibo.

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-49366177

 

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PAP needs strong Chinese economic growth

In China, Economy, Indonesia, Malaysia on 07/11/2018 at 10:54 am

Looking at chart, it’s no wonder our finance minister is really worried if Trump paks China really hard. S’pore’s very dependent on Chinese growth because China is an integral part of Asian supply chains.

South Korea, Taiwan, S’pore, M’sia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines have all benefited from the rise of China as a manufacturing power, especially since the global financial crisis.

Singapore assessing 2019 forecasts amidst escalating trade spat: Finance minister

Singapore has already witnessed a slash in business investments amidst the looming trade wars.

Finance minister Heng Swee Keat thinks that Singapore may have to look out on its economic growth projects for 2019 amidst the escalating US-China trade tensions that have pumped up uncertainty for business investments.

“In the short run, the impact is not fully felt yet,” with Singapore retaining its growth forecast for this year at 2.5% to 3.5%, Heng said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “But any trade tension that sets back globalization will affect everyone, including the countries that are directly involved, but also collateral damage right across all economies.”

Heng acknowledged that the Lion City had already witnessed the effects of the trade war through increased uncertainty and reduced investment by businesses, noting that next year’s situation will depend on how the situation will unfold in the next few months.

The ‘global production frontier’ being diminished could allow a prolonged trade war to severely disrupt the global supply chain thereby hitting countries with long-term growth challenges, the minister said.

“Our priority areas remain for economic restructuring,” Heng explained. “The other big area is looking at infrastructure development” with urbanization being a major trend in Asia.

Here’s more from Bloomberg.

 

S’poreans and mainlanders are the real Chinese

In China, Hong Kong, Property on 29/07/2018 at 5:12 am

Honkies and Taiwanese are not,

We and mainlanders don’t believe in renting short term (99 yr leases are not short term rental leases no matter what Goh Meng Seng and other cybernuts think)

M’sia: Time to buy?

In China, Emerging markets, India, Indonesia, Malaysia on 21/06/2018 at 4:28 am

M’sian mkt being ignored. One of least crowded emerging markets. Thailand and China look vulnerable because everyone’s there. Indonesia, Pinoy Land, Taiwan, Korea and India are in between. 

MPs: Ours compared to Taiwanese/ No real change in Wankers’ Party?

In Political governance on 13/04/2018 at 11:01 am

The Taiwanese parliament has a really bad reputation here because our constructive, nation-building media are forever highlighting the rows, fights that goes on there. To be fair to our media and their masters, the Taiwanese parliament is world class in its level of rowdiness and the willingness of its members to use their fists.

So when TRE used CNA report shows public tpt Hard Truths are BS there was this interesting response

Taiwan MP vs SG MP:

Inside parliament, they fight against each other.
Outside parliament, they fight for their people.

SG MPs:
Inside parliament, they fight for each other.
Outside parliament, they fight against their people.

It got this response
 MarBowling:

Nowadays, we hardly find MPs like Dr Tan CB and Dr Lily Neo who have concern and heart for the common folks. MPs like Cheng Li Hui and the rest of the PAPigs are more concern for the pockets and perks than the welfare of the common folks. So voters of Tampines GRC should do the Needful in the next GE:show your middle finger to filthy rich MP Cheng Li Hui who CLEARLY shows that she cares more for the coffers of transport operators than the pockets of the common folks commuters!

Juz wondering, why both writers make no mention the WP MPs? Because they are MPs from the Worthless Wankers’ Party?
Couldn’t help but think that Bayee was saying “We remain the Worthless Wankers’ Party” when I read
Workers’ Party (WP) new chief Pritam Singh said on Sunday (Apr 8) the opposition party will build on the work of his predecessor, Mr Low Thia Khiang, and continue to be “rational, responsible and respectable”, as it seeks to work with all Singaporeans to “take on the form and the shape of a loyal Opposition”.

https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/pritam-singh-takes-over-low-thia-khiang-new-wp-secretary-general

Btw, Secret Squirrel and Morroco Mole tell me that MP Cheng Li Hui has never ever used public transport. In her school and uni days, she had a chaffeur-driven German luxury car to ferry her around.

Will we offer help to China?

In China on 02/09/2017 at 6:59 am

If there’s a natural disaster in Fujien or anywhere else along the coast?

The four Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) CH-47 Chinook helicopters from its Peace Prairie detachment in Grand Prairie, Texas have arrived on site to assist in the US’ Hurricane Harvey disaster relief operations, Singapore’s Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) said on Thursday (Aug 31).

According to the ministry, the RSAF’s Peace Prairie detachment has worked together with the Texas Army National Guard in the past, including relief operations after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, fire-fighting and flood relief operations in Texas in 2000, and Hurricane Floyd relief operations in North Carolina in 1999.

Read more at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/rsaf-chinooks-arrive-to-assist-in-hurricane-harvey-disaster-9172930
Read more at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/rsaf-chinooks-arrive-to-assist-in-hurricane-harvey-disaster-9172930

So if China has a natural disaster will S’pore offer China our help? After all we have military assets in Taiwan.

Pak China, destroy Taiwan

In China on 27/08/2017 at 4:58 am

The top eight exporters from China to the US are not PRC-owned but are ultimately Taiwanese-owned, according to Nomura.

So if Trump imposes sanctions on China, Taiwan is really in trouble.

 

TerrexGate: Lest we forget

In China, Political governance on 25/01/2017 at 6:51 am

So our APCs have been released just ahead of Chinese New Year.

But let’s not let our PM and his cabinet of illionaires (Bet u they looking with envy at Trump’s cabinet of billionaires with envy: and wondering how to become that rich?. Remember it was a PAPpy MP who said he couldn’t respect people not well paid?) off the hook.

They were on auto pilot when it came to using Taiwan as a training area. I wrote this in December:

If this true, why are we still training in Taiwan?

In China on 01/12/2016 at 4:31 am

Singapore … has gradually reduced the number of Starlight personnel sent to Taiwan for training in recent years to as few as 3,000, but there are still at least three military bases in Taiwan for use by the project.

http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2050097/singapores-refusal-halt-military-ties-taiwan-prompted

At one time, in any given year 20,000 S’poreans were training in Taiwan.

——————————————

Starlight Project dates back to early 1974, when LKY signed a secret deal with his Taiwanese counterpart Chiang Ching-kuo during a visit to Taiwan.

Based on that confidential agreement, Singapore has sent nearly 20,000 troops to Taiwan for training on a yearly basis. Joint military exercises went on even after Singapore shifted its formal diplomatic relations from Taiwan to mainland China in 1990.

SCMP

———————————————

The SCMP also says that according to Macau-based military expert Antony Wong Dong,
Beijing had years ago tried to convince Singapore to replace its military training bases in Taiwan with alternatives on Hainan.

“The mainland side promised to provide the Singaporean military with a closer and larger place in Hainan [than that used in Taiwan] for military exercises, but Singapore rejected the offer,” Wong said.

Macau-based military expert Antony Wong Dong says S’pore rejected the offer because of strong opposition from the US. The US was (and is) concerned because US military secrets could be leaked because S’pore uses American weapon systems.

If only 3,000 are sent to Taiwan a tear, why continue especially as we are now training in Oz in a big way. We are expansing the facilities there.

Auto-pilot at work isit, while millionaire minsters looking at their daily bank statements and monthly CPF statements?

Who will squeeze Ah loong’s balls harder?/ Tharman’s time is nigh?

In China on 14/12/2016 at 5:29 am

After our APCs were seize by China after PM was brown-nosing the US over TPP (Trump hates it) and over the South China Sea, now Trump has made life even harder for him personally and for S’pore.

“I don’t know why we have to be bound by a One China policy unless we make a deal with China having to do with other things, including trade.”

— Donald J. Trump, the president-elect, on Fox News defending his recent phone call with Taiwan’s president. Mr. Trump’s suggestion that the One China policycould be used as a bargaining chip could risk a backlash by Beijing.

(NYT Dealbook)

China is royally annoyed with Trump (see http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-38286645) over his words and actions over Taiwan, so I’m sure Ah Loong is juz sitting down and keeping his mouth shut hoping that China might forget his comments on TPP and the rule of law in South China, both rods the Obama regime used to beat-up China.

And given that he was “All the Way for Hilary” and was a Obama pet (remember the state dinner?), he’s also hoping that Trump would forget S’pore’s support for the TPP and that Trump had singled out S’pore (albeit unfairly) for stealing US jobs.

Well he can forget it. I’m sure both sides will with glee squeeze his balls, telling him “If you are not with us, you are against us”. And if he sides with the US, remember that S’poreans who invest (think Temasek with its holdings in three out of the four major banks) or do biz in China are watching what China is doing to Lotte and K-pop performers after China got angry with Korea. Better sell CapitaLand.

Here’s my constructive, nation-building suggestions:

— Donate the nine APCs to China. It’s not as though, we’ll be getting them back, any time soon.

— Don’t allow those Poseidon aircraft to use S’pore as a base from which to watch, track Chinese subs leaving their base on Hainan.

— And give Trump Inc a casino licence (make it two).

Seriously, PM should be asking himself why S’pore still sends SAF soldiers and reservists to train in Taiwan. Now that we got the Outback to train in, we don’t send 20,000 men a year to Taiwan. So why bother sending 3,000 and upsetting China?

Doesn’t sound logical does it? Especially as the Taiwanese and Chinese are nowadays rowing over almost everything especially whether Taiwan is part of China. When LKY was pal to the leaders of both, these leaders accepted that Taiwan was part of China. They rowed over who was the legitimate govt of China.

Times have changed but PM, MFA, Mindef etc still live in that past.

Auto pilot isit? Too busy looking at daily bank statements and monthly CPF statements?

And is he really as smart as this ang moh puts it

For every prime minister like Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore, who can provide off-the-cuff a detailed and sophisticated tour d’horizon of the Asia-Pacific region, there is a boorish novice like Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.

Or is he a juz pet monkey of the hegemon?

Whatever, S’pore (and S’poreans) will be in for a tough time with the hegemony and a wannabe hegemon upset with him.

Time to resign and let the Indians rule the roost here*? After all Tharman is another pet monkey of the West, while he hasn’t offended China.


*They already own the judiciary, the legal profession and the legal service, and the IT sector.

Lips to teeth: US’s and S’pore’s position on Taiwan

In China on 12/12/2016 at 5:09 am

====================================

If the lips are gone, the teeth will grow cold
唇亡齿寒

is a chinese saying.

=========================

The US attitude to Taiwan since it was set by Jimmy Carter’s administration in 1979 could be described as constructive hypocrisy. America professes to support Taiwanese democracy and sells it arms to defend itself from its powerful neighbour, while at the same time adhering to a “one-China” policy and refusing to recognise Taiwan as an independent country.

FT

We don’t support Taiwanese democracy (In fact, the PAP and the constructive, nation-building media sneers at it afraid that the sheep S’porean Chinese voters will realise that Chinese can do democracy. Indians always have done democracy (The elites love to talk cock, sing song, steal from the poor  and forget about economic development: think India.) And the Malays don’t matter going by the PAP’s decision to reserve presidency for them every now and then).

And to my knowledge we doesn’t sells arms to Taiwan.

But S’pore adheres to a “one-China” policy and refuses to recognise Taiwan as an independent country. And oh yrs , we train out troops there and send our most advanced weaponry there,

We really old friend of China?

As Global Times right says:

Singapore should learn the lesson that, if it tries to challenge China on important issues, it has to be prepared to bear consequences.

Singapore has long attempted to serve as a bridge or middleman between China and the US, and the mainland and Taiwan. But this will by no means work in the future.

The bilateral relationship used to be based on private ties between former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping* and late Singaporean prime minister Lee Kuan Yew. But nowadays, a simply state-to-state relationship is more feasible.

There are reports that S’pore executives and business people living in China are worried that they will become the next victims of China’s anger. They only need to see what Lotte and K-pop singers are experiencing in China to see what can happen when China is angry with another govt. SGDaily’s FB wall has a FT article on waz happening to Lotte and K-pop singers in China: their balls are being squeezed hard, really hard.

Related article: http://www.scmp.com/business/article/2053679/weaponising-hong-kongs-free-port-status

====================

*And Jiang his successor too. Harry’s daughter once wrote in ST why Dr Goh Keng Swee’s state funeral had to wait because her dad tot he had to meet Jiang.

Remember at Harry’s funeral, no senior Chinese leader came.

If this true, why are we still training in Taiwan?

In China on 01/12/2016 at 4:31 am

Singapore … has gradually reduced the number of Starlight personnel sent to Taiwan for training in recent years to as few as 3,000, but there are still at least three military bases in Taiwan for use by the project.

http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2050097/singapores-refusal-halt-military-ties-taiwan-prompted

At one time, in any given year 20,000 S’poreans were training in Taiwan.

——————————————

Starlight Project dates back to early 1974, when LKY signed a secret deal with his Taiwanese counterpart Chiang Ching-kuo during a visit to Taiwan.

Based on that confidential agreement, Singapore has sent nearly 20,000 troops to Taiwan for training on a yearly basis. Joint military exercises went on even after Singapore shifted its formal diplomatic relations from Taiwan to mainland China in 1990.

SCMP

———————————————

The SCMP also says that according to Macau-based military expert Antony Wong Dong,
Beijing had years ago tried to convince Singapore to replace its military training bases in Taiwan with alternatives on Hainan.

“The mainland side promised to provide the Singaporean military with a closer and larger place in Hainan [than that used in Taiwan] for military exercises, but Singapore rejected the offer,” Wong said.

Macau-based military expert Antony Wong Dong says S’pore rejected the offer because of strong opposition from the US. The US was (and is) concerned because US military secrets could be leaked because S’pore uses American weapon systems.

If only 3,000 are sent to Taiwan a tear, why continue especially as we are now training in Oz in a big way. We are expansing the facilities there.

Auto-pilot at work isit, while millionaire minsters looking at their daily bank statements and monthly CPF statements?

Double standards: S’pore can change position, China cannot isit?

In China on 30/11/2016 at 4:33 am

(Or “Typical S’porean attitude: Actions have no consequences”)

China has made an official protest to Singapore over its military ties with Taiwan after nine Singaporean military vehicles were seized in Hong Kong. It’s very own ST, Global Times says “It is no longer reasonable for Singapore to continue … any kind of military exchange with Taiwan.”

Ordinary patriotic S’poreans (not juz PAP bootlickers) other than the China tua kees  are shouting that S’pore has always trained in Taiwan and China knows about it, so why the KPKBing by China.

Err why nationalistic S’poreans so cock? Don’t know this isit?

Singapore has strengthened its military ties with the US over the past year, agreeing to boost co-operation on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions as well as cyber-security. Singapore allowed US Poseidon surveillance aircraft to operate from the city-state last December.

And the US had based a naval vessel here that was specifically designed for operations in waters like the South China Sea. The vessel was withdrawn and not replaced.

And Ah Loong* has been pretty noisy about the need for the TPP and rule of law in the South China Sea. Both issues are important to S’pore but were used by the US to maintain US regional hegemony. The US defence secretary said that the TPP was worth to the US the addition of another US aircraft carrier to the US navy

——————

Rule of law what rule of law?

The US refuses to sign UNCLOS because it refuses to play by the rules of sua kes like the UN and PinoyLand. It reserves the right to do what it thinks is right (Usually this means “Might is right”).

But China did sign up and now refuses to abide by a decision of its highest tribunal. Why so stupid?

So if Ah Loong is genuine and consistent about wanting the rule of law in the South China Sea, he should say that the US is wrong to refuse to rarify UNCLOS.


S’pore has tilted towards the US, China has noticed it (see below) but China cannot change it’s mind isit?

So far I’ve not seem our MSM or social media tell us that the state-owned hawkish Global Times said in an editorial that S’pore was supposed to have suspended its military co-operation with Taiwan in 2012. “However, the recently detained vessel with its cargo of armoured vehicles reveals Singapore’s hypocrisy.”


My toes are laughing

“One thing in Chinese culture is you never forget your old friends … and surely in Chinese culture you appreciate this concept of loyalty to old friends”: Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan.

Old friends surely don’t allow US Poseidon surveillance aircraft to operate from their homes?

——————————————

And really as someone who thinks US global hegemony, is the least bad option (OK, Ok, it’s actually a lot better than the alternatives), I can’t argue with Global Times when it says “For quite some time, Singapore has been pretending to seek a balance between China and the US, yet has been taking Washington’s side in reality.”

Err didn’t realise that China so cock not to realise this until now? That stupid meh?


*For every prime minister like Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore, who can provide off-the-cuff a detailed and sophisticated tour d’horizon of the Asia-Pacific region, there is a boorish novice like Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.

Bue bye Brics, Hello Tick

In China, India on 01/02/2016 at 4:36 pm

Tech-heavy Taiwan, India, China and Korea are the new darlings of the fund mgrs managing emerging mkts funds. Brazil, Russia and South Africa are history. They produce now unwanted commodities.

Anti-PAP people, don’t get excited by DPP victory

In Political governance on 19/01/2016 at 10:25 am

In cyberspace the PAPpy nuts are busy slimimg the DPP and calling the Taiwanese stupid, showing how insecure the nutty PAP 35 points are (expect Herod Cheng to comment on the DPP victory, once he’s told what to think)  while the anti-pAP folks (nuts and rational) are drawing parallels between the DPP and the SDP. Remember that once upon a time, Mad Dog Chee was a puppy beside his DPP counterparts. The DPP and SDP have become responsible adult sheep dogs, intent on protecting their flocks.

Two reasons why the DPP won big time

Taiwanese voters have become wary about giving China too much influence over their island, which was one reason for the KMT’s defeat.

The other was the economy. The elections were mainly fought on bread-and-butter issues, such as stagnating salaries and skyrocketing housing prices. Mr Ma’s inability to use ties with China to revitalise the ailing economy, along with party infighting and a badly run campaign, explains the KMT’s worst-ever defeat. Its candidate, Eric Chu resigned as party chairman. The election showed Taiwan wants change; crowds of Ms Tsai’s supporters roared “New politics, new economy, a new Taiwan” during the vote count.

(Economist blog)

All the focus is on the first reason but think about the second; the economy. If the govt had managed to alleviate or mitigate the effects of stagnating salaries and skyrocketing housing prices could it have won?

I don’t know but S’pore has had the stagnating salaries and skyrocketing housing prices but the PAP administration increased its share of the popular vote by 10 points to 70% despite a slowing economy caused by global problems.

The stagnating salaries problem was mitigated by increasing employers’ CPF contributions by one point and by intriPioneer Gen benefits especially in healthcare. This meant that families spent less on their aged parents (examples here), giving them more cash for other needs.

As to the  skyrocketing housing prices, the govt has built more public housing and introduced measures aimed at reducing the attraction of investing or speculating in property.

It could spend more on us because budget surpluses are equivalent to  7% of our GDP. A budget surplus is seen as a virtue even by Western govts (except those the SDP admire) but in S’pore, it can (and should) be seen as a way of keeping goodies* from the voters in “normal times” so that when the rabble are really unhappy (not juz mutinious) with the elite, there’s the rabble’s money to be spent. Ownself spend other people’s money?

Until people like Dr Paul Thamby, Dr Ang Yong Guan, Terry Xu, P(olitican) Ravi, Alex Au and Richard Wan (remember him?) and other intelligent, agood-hearted kay – understand how the PAP games the budget and reserves ecosystem, and communicates this insight to the swing voter, the PAP will remain in power, forever and a day.

—–

*Don’t spend so much, cannot reduce GST meh? Why liddat?

 

Size of DPP win in Taiwan, pictorially depicted

In China on 18/01/2016 at 6:32 am

China really tua kee

In China, Commodities, Emerging markets, Energy, Hong Kong on 26/09/2015 at 7:20 am

China's imports

Related post: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-34344926

 

China: No reason to panic/ Think Taiwan

In China on 24/08/2015 at 1:38 pm

Another day, another big fall in China.

The services sector supplanted manufacturing a couple of years ago as the biggest part of China’s economy, and that trend has only accelerated this year. The alarm on Friday stemmed from an unexpected fall in the purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for manufacturing sponsored by Caixin, a respected Chinese financial magazine. That gauge has been lilting southward for a while. By contrast, Caixin’s PMI for the services sector jumped to an 11-month high in July.

http://www.economist.com/news/china/21661959-despite-financial-nervousness-rebalancing-continues-why-chinese-economic-worries-look-overdone

Taiwan is a place that could be more resilient to the EM gloom says a Fidelty fund mgr. Think high tech exports to the US. Think Apple also.

S’pore not part of Apple’s ecosystem

In China, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam on 29/06/2015 at 12:04 pm

Neither is M’sia or SE Asia. It’s Northern Asia. I blogged yonks ago that we are part of the Microsoft ecosystem.

Apple iPhone component suppliers

NS: Taiwan’s way

In Political governance on 07/04/2014 at 4:45 am

Netizens have recently (again) been voicing their opinions on NS and on the amount S’pore spends on the military. Most views are against the status quo. Sadly, a lot of comments are juz noise, if not rubbish: of the “PAP is always wrong” variety. The PAP may often be wrong, it isn’t always wrong.

Hopefully, an extract from the transcript of an interview that the Economist did with the president of Taiwan will help inform the debate on NS and S’pore’s military spending. Some comparisons are in the Appendix but before cyberwarriors  mindlessly attack the PAP because Taiwan spends less than ours in $ value, and as %age of budget and GDP, they should note that the US has voiced its concern that Taiwan is freeloading on the US, spending too little on its own defense despite Taiwan facing (unlike S’pore) an existentialist threat (China reserves the right to invade Taiwan if it seeks independence),

Taiwan has cut NS down to four mouths. Not all males of enlistment age will now be required to serve, but rather only a small proportion. Others will be able to follow their own career interests … a more reasonable use of human capital.

It realises that NS  is a cost to society, and wants to reduce this cost. When all the males of a certain age are serving in the military, this naturally places a cost on society. Many businesses will lack the manpower they need, which will limit our overall development. There is, therefore, a great social cost.

Does the govt here realise that having cheap labour for public event (any idea in F1, a commercial enterprises, has access to NS men as cheap labour?), and security involves a social cost?

The extract

In the context of the third line of defence, how problematic is the shift to an all-volunteer army proving? I understand that there are some problems with recruitment.

President Ma: Let me first clarify that we are not moving to an all-volunteer system. Ours will be largely a voluntary force, but not an all-volunteer force. We still have conscription. All males of enlistment age are obliged to spend four months in military training, following which they become part of the reserve. During wartime, they can also be called up to active service.

The Constitution states that the people have the duty to perform military service. Were we to do away with the four-month requirement, we would be in danger of violating the Constitution.

All nations that go by a volunteer system, especially those that had practiced conscription, experience a temporary dip in personnel numbers. With such a systemic change, it is natural that supporting measures will be insufficient. We have just made our change, and are tackling difficulties as they arise.

We have three main goals. First is to enhance the military’s combat readiness. Second is a more reasonable use of human capital. Last is reducing social costs.

As to enhancing combat readiness, let me explain by way of an example. Take a private. Under the old system, he would serve for a year. He completed his service just as he was getting a feel for things. Under the new system, volunteers serve for four years per enlistment. This means that mature soldiers will serve for a longer period. This will naturally increase combat readiness.

We also want to attract young people into the military, which requires improvements in three areas. The first is pay. A private under the old system would have been paid about NT$6,000 per month as basic salary [S$250]. Under the volunteer system, that same soldier will receive NT$33,000 [S$1375], a better than fivefold increase. Second, is honour. We must, on many fronts, increase soldiers’ social status, that they get the respect they deserve. Third, is career path. During the four-year enlistment period, soldiers will be given all manner of vocational training. Our hope is that they end their time in the military with at least one professional certificate, that when they re-enter society, they will not have trouble finding a job.

Of course, we hope to retain such people, and we have seen a retention rate of nearly 60% following these recent developments. This is no small achievement since the changeover to the new system. And we have been resolving difficulties we have encountered one by one by implementing our strategy.

Second is the reasonable use of human capital. Not all males of enlistment age will now be required to serve, but rather only a small proportion. Others will be able to follow their own career interests. This is, of course, a more reasonable use of human capital.

Third is reducing the cost to society. When all the males of a certain age are serving in the military, this naturally places a cost on society. Many businesses will lack the manpower they need, which will limit our overall development. There is, therefore, a great social cost. Through the changes we have overseen, we will reduce this cost.

Two months ago, the Executive Yuan raised the salary for voluntary military personnel, which has had an amazing result. Some 60 years ago, our military personnel numbered over 600,000. Today, they stand at roughly 200,000, a number that may fall a little further. This size of military is sufficient to defend Taiwan given modern self-defence methods.

BTW, here’s an antidote to the PAP’s claim that S’pore outperforms Taiwan:

If you look at the four economies that we used to club together as the original Asian Tigers—Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, and Hong Kong—they are all having to reinvent themselves. Do you think that those four economies can still learn from each other? Does Taiwan have any other economic models in mind that it wants to emulate?

President Ma: I believe that the Four Asian Tigers can still learn from each other, even though their specific situations may be slightly different. For example, our situation is similar to that of the Republic of Korea, and rather different from those of Singapore and Hong Kong, because the latter are basically cities. Nonetheless, in terms of their strategies for economic development, they can still serve as a valuable reference.

Looking at the economic performance of these four countries and regions over the past six years, our economic growth rate has been 2.91%, second to Singapore. This is based on nominal GDP. If we look at GDP in terms of purchasing power parity, we have had the highest growth rate.

We also have had the lowest CPI among the Four Asian Tigers. Our unemployment rate has been relatively high, but our misery index—calculated by adding the inflation rate to the unemployment rate—was the second-lowest amongst the four.

Our problem is that we have made insufficient progress in terms of liberalisation, and the pace of our industrial restructuring has been too slow. With regard to regional economic integration, we have to make up considerable ground to be able to compete with Singapore, Hong Kong, and the Republic of Korea.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/banyan/2014/03/interview-taiwans-president

Related article on NS in Taiwan: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-25085323

—-

Appendix

S’pore, Taiwan military expenditure

In 2013, the estimated military spending was US$10.5bn for Taiwan, and US$12bn for S’pore.

In Taiwan’s case this represented 16.2% of the budget and 2.1% of GDP.

In S’pore’s case the US$12bn represented 20% of the budget and 6% of GDP.

Even if Taiwan is spending too little, surely S’pore is spending too much? I don’t know. What do you think?

Related article on S’pore’s military might: http://www.cnbc.com/id/101393982

US$120 oil: Losers in region

In India on 26/02/2011 at 8:23 am

According to BarCap, the big losers are South Korea, Thailand, Taiwan and India. US$120 oil would drag both Korea and Thailand into current account deficit (in Korea’s case, so would $110 crude). In Taiwan it would drag 4.3 ppts off the current account as percentage of GDP.