How Taiwan's economic good card was smashed by Tsai Ing-wen
2022-08-05: [Article Link] phoenix net. Storm Eyes.
== sync, corrected by elderman == @elder_man
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Taiwan’s economy has grown rapidly through three industrial transformations. In 2021, Taiwan’s gross domestic product (GDP) was close to 5 trillion yuan, ranking eighth among all China’s provinces. The volume of cross-Straits trade has grown rapidly since the opening of the reform, from $460 million in 1981 to $328.34 billion in 2021. The volume of cross-Straits trade has increased 713 times in 40 years. According to phoenix’s Storm Eyes, there are now more than 40 businesses with a background on the mainland listed in A’s stock. For more than three years, the continent has been in almost a trade deficit position in trade with Taiwan. According to Storm Eyes, the continent’s trade deficit against Taiwan in 1981 was $300 million, and by 2021 the continent’s trade deficit against Taiwan had risen to $10,474 billion.
4. Since 2016, the so-called “New Southward Policy” policy in Tsai Ing-wen has had little effect, and Taiwan's economy has become increasingly dependent on the mainland. In 2020, Taiwan's trade dependence on mainland exports was at an all-time high of 43.8 per cent.
The situation in the Taiwan Strait has also become tense as the farce of the “Travel to Taiwan” of Pelosi unfolds.
On 3 August, the Ministry of Commerce and the General Customs Administration issued successive documents in which they decided to suspend the export of natural sand to the Taiwan region and the importation into the mainland of citrus fruits and ice-white zone fish, as well as frozen mackerel fish.
Since the 1950’s, Taiwan’s economic development has undergone three transformations, allowing the economy to leapfrog. And there are a large number of electronics, communications star businesses, such as electricity, HTC, Foxconn, Macro, and Huatsu.
From 1981 to 2021, cross-Straits trade increased 713 times. In recent years, the continent has remained stable in Taiwan’s largest export markets and the largest source of trade surpluses.
It can be said that Taiwan's economy has been able to grow at a sustained pace without the continent's “care for it.” Yet the authorities of Tsai Ing-wen and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), ignoring the voices of the people on both sides of the Taiwan Straits, have made so-called “new southwards policies” in an attempt to bring the countries of South-East Asia and Australia together and move away from the so-called “continent dependency.” But Chai's English was clearly wrong, and several years passed, so the so-called “new Southward policy” policy had little effect, and Taiwan's economy was increasingly dependent on the mainland. In 2020, Taiwan's trade with mainland exports had reached an all-time high of 43.8 per cent.
Taiwan’s industrial structure has been grossly unbalanced in recent years because of the inability of the authorities of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to improve the industrial environment in Taiwan. Moreover, large amounts of “military purchases” by the authorities of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) have contributed to Taiwan’s fiscal overhang. Will Taiwan, which was at the head of the Asian Four Dragons, maintain sustained economic growth under the “dumping” of the Tsai Ing-wen and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authorities?
Taiwan's GDP was close to 500 billion in 2021.
According to public sources, in 2021 the gross domestic product of Taiwan, China, was 216,499,388 million new Taiwan francs, converted at an average exchange rate of $77,245 million — approximately 49,853,368 million yuan (nearly 500 billion yuan).
What is the concept of GDP of RMB 500 billion? Of the GDP of all provinces in China, Taiwan can be ranked eighth.
Seven provinces with GDP exceeding Taiwan are Guangdong (1243.667 billion yuan), Jiangsu (116,364.2 billion yuan), Shandong (830.959 billion yuan), Zhejiang (73.56 billion yuan), Henan (58.874 billion yuan), Sichuan (538.579 billion yuan) and Hubei (50.1294 billion yuan). Image source: Digital Finance think tank
In terms of GDP per capita, in 2021 the per capita GDP of Taiwan Province was RMB 213277, or approximately US$ 33,000. The per capita GDP of the mainland Region was US$ 12550, and Taiwan Province was 2.6 times the mainland.
The highest in the mainland is Beijing, with a per capita GDP of 18,393 yuan, about US$ 28,500, which is still lower than in Taiwan Province. However, if Macao is the highest in the country, then Hong Kong, the third is Taiwan.
Indeed, in the face of economic development, the Taiwan region was once the subject of study in the provinces of the mainland. For a long time, the level of economic development in Taiwan has been ahead of the provinces of the mainland.
The aggregate data show that Taiwan’s GDP in 1951 was only US$ 1,228 million and its per capita GDP was US$ 158. Since then, Taiwan’s economy has experienced “import substitution (1953-1959)” and “export orientation (1959-1972)” and “Ten major construction periods.” By the early 1980’s, when the mainland had just begun to reform and open, Taiwan’s GDP had exceeded $50 billion, ranking among the “Asian dragons.” By 2021, Taiwan’s GDP had doubled by 640 times and per capita GDP 208 times, compared to the early 1950’s.
Data source: condensed data
However, the high rate of GDP growth in Taiwan has been accompanied by rapid growth in the continent’s economy. Especially since reform and opening up, the continent’s economy has changed dramatically.
In 1994, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) public information, the gross domestic product (GDP) of the Taiwan region was approximately $25,644 billion and that of the mainland was $56,647 million, thus accounting for 45 per cent of GDP in that year. It's a brand name for industrial upgrading, power generation, etc.
The high rate of GDP growth in Taiwan cannot be achieved without a transformational upgrading of its industrial structure.
Since the 1950’s, Taiwan’s economic development has undergone three transformations, the first in the 1950’s, from agriculture to industry, and the second in the 1960’s to the 1980’s, from manufacturing to export-oriented economies. In the early years, agriculture was the basis of Taiwan’s economic development and the backbone of business growth. In 1951, agriculture accounted for 35.8 per cent of Taiwan’s GDP. By 2013, it had fallen to 1.69 per cent of GDP, with a total output of $4.759 billion.
Since the 1960’s, Taiwan’s industrial structure began to shift from agriculture to industry. In the 1960’s, Taiwan’s light industrial development was rapid, with heavy industry taking a secondary place. To attract investment and increase exports in exchange for foreign exchange, processing and export zones were also established to increase foreign trade earnings.
In the 1970’s, in an effort to emerge from the oil crisis, Taiwan’s authorities committed themselves to promoting 10 major projects, laying a good foundation for Taiwan’s petrochemical and heavy industries. Taiwan then realized the economic status of heavy industry, pursued an active industrial policy, and built large heavy industrial bases in Gao-Yung, such as the Great Steel Factory, the Great Shipyard, and the Great Oil Refinery. In the 1980s, Taiwan began to strongly encourage domestic and foreign producers to invest in high-tech industries such as integrated circuits and computers, replacing traditional industries with low-energy, low-pollution, high-value technology-intensive industries, and private SMEs were also affected by the boom in electronics.
In 1986, Taiwan Province’s industrial output accounted for more than half of GDP, falling gradually to 31% in 2002. Taiwan’s industry has gradually shifted from labour-intensive to capital- and technology-intensive industries, with the electronics and information technology sector accounting for 35% of the industrial sector.
Today, Taiwan’s manufacturing and high-technology industries are well developed, leading the world in such areas as semiconductors, telecommunications, and electronic precision manufacturing. The HTC, Foxconn, Macro, Hua-soo, and a large number of star companies, such as power generation, have emerged. As chip demand in the global market grows, so does the collection and market value of power generation. In 2020, 2021, and 2022 (note: 31 March of each year), the total market value of power generation increased by 2.3 times over two years, to $23.5 billion, $534 billion, and $54.1 billion, respectively. Not long ago, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) ranked as “the top 100 listed companies in the global market” based on the stock market value of global listed companies on March 31, 2022, with a power build-up rising from the eleventh to the tenth in 2021, while Tseng and Ali Baba withdrew from the top 10.
In total, there are 966 companies listed.
In the process of industrial transformation and upgrading, the Taiwan region has also established its own securities trading system, the Taiwan Stock Exchange.
On 9 February 1962, the Taiwan Stock Exchange was officially opened.
Since December 2016, the Taiwan Stock Exchange, in cooperation with the British Financial Times Index, has developed a “Taiwan Index Series”, which includes the Taiwan 50 Index, the Taiwan Medium 100 Index, the Taiwan Information Technology Index, the Taiwan Developed Index and the Taiwan High Dividend Index.
In 2021, Taiwan’s stock markets also emerged from a wave of cattle in the face of a general rise in stock markets in most countries or regions. The stock-weighted index broke down at 15,000, 16,000, and 17,000 points, reaching 17427 points at the end of November, making it a new high in the last 30 years, rising by 18.3%, and rising by 18.3% in Asia. However, since this year, the Taiwan stock market weighted index has begun to fall. As of 2 August, the Taiwan weighted index stood at 14747.23, which is about 18 per cent lower than last year’s high point.
Photo source: Taiwan Stock Exchange
According to Stock-ai data, as of June 2022, there were 966 listed enterprises, a 13 per cent increase compared to the same period last year. Among them, the top 10 companies ranked in the market are power supply, Honghai, UNRISD, China Power, Taiwan plasticization, tedar power, Fu Bong King, National Tetkin, Taiwan Plastics and South Asia. Photo from Taiwan Stock Exchange (unit: new Taiwan Dollar)
In addition to being listed on the market, a number of businesses with a financial background have also opted to be listed in A shares.
At the end of 2001, mainland companies began to be allowed to issue and market A shares on the mainland.
In an interview with the media, Chen Tian Jianxing, Chairman of Kuo Xiang, said: “The country has been granted permission to be listed on the market as a source of great encouragement for those who invest in the mainland.”
Since then, businesses have been listed at a slow pace on the mainland. In 2010 and 2020, six companies were listed in A shares, but in some years none were allowed to do so. Analysts have pointed out that it is easier for registered back-office firms to be listed on the mainland. “The mainland subsidiaries of formerly-owned companies often encounter competitions with their parent companies if they are to be listed in A shares. But now, as long as the relevant information is fully disclosed, they have an opportunity to apply for listing in A shares.”
As also mentioned in the 14th Five-Yar Plan, “Support for the participation of trade-related enterprises in `one-way' construction and in a coordinated national regional development strategy, support for the listing of eligible firms on the mainland, and support for Fujian to explore new ways of integrating the two sides of the Strait...”.
In 2021, six companies, such as Changchun Young-li, South African Food, Wally Group, East Asian Mechanics and others, were listed in mainland A shares.
According to phoenixnet Storm Eyes, there are now more than 40 businesses with a background on the mainland (data from Wind, Tondassin and related public reports) on the market.
Phoenix Network, Storm Eyes, has learned that the companies currently listed in the A stock market are largely small and medium-sized, focusing mainly on manufacturing, especially electronic equipment and human goods. The total size of the firms is small compared to those listed in the mainland during the same period.
Cross-Straits trade has increased 713 times in 40 years.
The rapid economic growth of the Taiwan region since the 1980s, as well as the listing of Taiwan companies in A shares, have not been possible without the increasingly close cross-Strait trade and the rapid development of cross-Strait trade.
In 1981, the first investment company settled in Fuzhou, opening four ports to berths and reception stations on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, creating a pre-reform and open trade and movement of people between the two sides. After that, the overall trend in cross-Straits economic and trade relations, despite a breakover, has been moving forward.
In 2006, for the first time, total cross-Straits indirect trade broke the $100 billion mark, reaching $10.784 billion, an increase of 18.2 per cent over the same period. Of this amount, mainland exports to Taiwan amounted to $20.74 billion, an increase of 25.3 per cent over the same year, and mainland imports from Taiwan amounted to $871.1 billion, an increase of 16.6 per cent over the same year. In 2021, despite the influence of adverse factors such as Covid-19 Pandemic, cross-Straits trade increased significantly, with steady growth in investment from Taiwan to the continent.
According to the General Customs Administration, cross-Straits trade amounted to $160.3 billion in 2011, rising to $328.34 billion in 2021 and doubling in 10 years. According to Taiwan statistics, trade on both sides accounted for 28.6 per cent of Taiwan's foreign trade in 2011 and increased to 33 per cent in 2021, with the mainland stabilizing in Taiwan's largest export market and source of the largest trade surplus. According to the Department of Commerce, a total of 2,639 Taiwan-based investment projects were approved in 2011, compared with 6595 in 2021. By the end of 2021, Taiwan-based investment projects totalled 123,781 projects, representing a real investment of $71.34 billion.
However, unlike the rapid development of Taiwan-based investment projects on the continent, investments by land-based funds have been hampered by restrictions imposed by the authorities of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
At a press conference in January this year, the spokesman for the National Office, Jo Fung Lian, stated: “In contrast to the new obstacles imposed by the authorities of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on investing in mainland businesses, by the end of 2021, there had been a modest increase in the volume of investments in the field, totalling only $3.71 billion”.
According to the Phoenix Network Storm Eyes, trade on both sides had increased from $460 million to $328.34 billion by 2021, with trade on both sides having increased 713 times in 40 years.
Source: Customs Department.
And in the course of many years of trade, the two sides have developed a relationship of “me, me, you”.
On the one hand, the mainland is Taiwan’s largest export market for agricultural products, accounting for nearly 30% of Taiwan’s total exports, and far ahead of other countries and regions. Of agricultural exports, water products, such as fish, are the largest group of exports, accounting for 30% of the total.
Of these, Taiwan’s water generation and associated fruit exports are very dependent on the continent. Taiwan-related sector statistics show that the proportion of citrus fruit exported to the continent in 2021 was as high as 86%, with fresh or refrigerated white belt fish reaching 9146 tons, all of which are sold to the continent. On the other hand, the continent has a certain degree of dependence on imports of electronic goods and equipment, such as semiconductors, from Taiwan. According to the Taiwan authorities'financial services authorities, the goods in the top five rankings of Taiwan's export mainland and Hong Kong's value in 2020 were: integrated circuits (49.55 per cent), electronic zero components (excluding integrated circuits) (5.86 per cent), liquid crystal devices (3.77 per cent), storage media (3.01 per cent) and zero computer attachments (2.82 per cent). Of course, the continent imports so many chips that it does not use all by itself. There are also a large proportion of electronic products that are then assembled and exported, such as Chinese exports, cell phones, etc., from abroad.
Today, the continent already has a four-fold identity in terms of economic and trade relations with Taiwan: the largest trading partner, the largest export market, the largest source of surplus, and the largest source of outward investment.
Indeed, the continent’s trade with Taiwan is more like doing business between “mama” and “kids,” preferring to make money for its own losses. For example, to help Taiwan resolve its fruit-dealing problem, the mainland announced in 2005 a zero-tariff status for Taiwan’s 15 types of fruit, which greatly eased the pressure on Taiwan’s fruit-dealing. In 2011, when Taiwan's fruit was once again lost in May 9, the Vice-President of the Association went to Taiwan to negotiate the quantity and amount of fruit to be purchased, the first 200 to 300 metric tons of fruit was used to relieve the needs of Taiwan's fruit farmers.
So the continent has been in a trade deficit position for most of the time in its trade with Taiwan. According to Storm Eyes, the continent’s trade deficit against Taiwan in 1981 was $300 million, and by 2021 the continent’s trade deficit against Taiwan had risen to $10,474 billion.
Can Taiwan's economy really leave the mainland?
However, the positive trends in cross-Straits economic and trade development have often been disrupted by “Taiwan independence” politicians who seek to challenge the “one-China” principle.
In particular, the so-called “New Southward Policy” has been promoted with a view to bringing the countries of South-East Asia and Australia together from Taiwan's overdependence on a single market in mainland China.
But it is clear that Tsai Ing-wen is wrong, and that she wants to get rid of the continental market in the eyes of the South-East Asian countries. Instead of allowing Taiwan to enter the South-East Asian market, the New Southward Policy has been seized by the South-East Asian countries.
In Thailand, for example, at the end of May 2020, China and Thailand worked together to open a cross-border “fruit column” to transport Thai fruit to China by train at the Guangxi and Dongjing ports. Currently, China is the largest export market for fruit such as Thai durians, which, according to data from the Thai Ministry of Commerce, account for more than 60 per cent of Thai durian exports. In the summer of 2018, when the fruits of Taiwan, bananas, pineapple, twigs, and so on, were all full of fruit, the farmers were gloating. In the face of the plight of the farmers, the controversial remarks of the then head of the executive branch of Taiwan’s administration, “Bananas boiled with skin and soy sauce,” are all the more displeasure to the people. In the face of the price of fruit “down and down,” some farmers hang out “DPPs do not fail, farmers do not do well.”
A few years later, the so-called “New Southward Policy” policy in Tsai, in English, has yielded little success, and the Taiwan economy is increasingly dependent on the mainland.
According to the relevant sectoral statistics of the Taiwan authorities, Taiwan's trade dependence on mainland exports was 39 per cent in 2015, the end-year of Ma Yingix. When Tsai took office in 2016, Taiwan's trade on land increased without loss, and Taiwan's trade on mainland exports reached a record high of 43.8 per cent in 2020. According to the Central Review Board, Liu Shinjing, Associate Professor, Department of Marine and Border Management, Kimmen University, said that while Taiwan was trying to escape its dependence on the mainland, it was eager to increase the profile and dynamism of Taiwan's industry. Liu Shinjing said that since the ruling of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Taiwan's trade dependence on the mainland has increased inversely or even reached a record high, essentially because of the inability of the authorities of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to improve the industrial environment in Taiwan, which has resulted in Taiwan's sole investment in land as an industrial layout, which has led to closer cross-Straits industrial linkages, and the fact that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has become the biggest pusher. The mainland “ban” or severe damage to Taiwan's economy
In addition, a number of sudden-onset events are also affecting cross-Strait economic and trade transactions.
“Responding” measures on the mainland followed on 3 August, when the “Travel Taiwan” farce was staged in the hands of the Pelaussi and Taiwan authorities, in defiance of their advice.
According to the website of the Ministry of Commerce, in response to the question “Is there an adjustment to the policy of exporting natural sand to the Taiwan region in the interest of the business?”, the Ministry of Commerce responded: “It has decided to suspend the export of natural sand to the Taiwan region in accordance with the relevant legal provisions. The measures have been implemented since 3 August 2022.”
Indeed, it was not the first time that the mainland had suspended its natural sand exports to Taiwan, and a similar policy had taken place in 2007. According to a 2007 Ministry of Commerce document, more than 90% of Taiwan’s natural sand imports at that time came from the mainland. In August 2005, China introduced a macro-regulation policy to curb the export of “highly polluted, energy-intensive, resource-intensive” products. Natural sands are part of the resource category. In December 2006, the Ministry of Commerce, together with the General Customs Administration, issued Circular No. 87, which announced the resumption of measures to ban the export of natural sands as of 1 March 2007. Since then, and taking into account the fact that more than 95 per cent of the imports of natural sand from Taiwan come from the mainland, and in order to benefit the economic development and livelihood needs of the Taiwan region, the Ministry of Commerce, together with the relevant departments, has carefully studied and held numerous discussions with the Taiwan Sand and Stone Industry, fully communicating and listening, culminating in the publication on 7 March 2008 of the Procedure for the Application of Natural Sand Export Permits for Taiwan, and related matters, announcing the official resumption of natural sand-to-Taiwan exports as of 10 March. The Channel Monitor reported in March 2008 that Fujian is currently one of the largest suppliers of sandstone exports, accounting for more than half of China's total sandstone exports. According to the Customs Department, the cumulative export of natural sand from Fujian Province in 2006 was 20306,000 tons, valued at $54476,000, while the total export of natural sand from Fujian Province fell sharply to 5013,000 tons in the first 10 months of 2007 as a result of the export ban. There is a greater demand for natural sand in the Taiwan region, Japan and the Republic of Korea, among others, and 99 per cent of natural sand in Fujian Province is exported to those areas, with exports to Taiwan accounting for more than 60 per cent of natural sand exports throughout the province. In December 2017, media reports revealed that at that time, some 40 per cent of the construction market in northern Taiwan imported sandstones and almost 90 per cent depended on the mainland, giving rise to a high degree of importance when the continent stopped supplying. It is worth mentioning that, in addition to the suspension of natural sand exports to the Taiwan region, on 3 August, the Department of Sanitary and Phytosanitary of the General Customs Administration and the Food Import and Export Security Service issued a “Notification of the Moratorium on the Importation into the mainland of citrus Fruits and Ice White Ribbon Fish from the Taiwan Region”.
According to the media, in the light of the current situation, this initiative would affect the agricultural and fishing industry in Taiwan, and if the mainland were to expand the blockade and the off-sales of the island's fish products would affect the industry as a whole.
Also reported by Taiwan's China Times News Network, the region of Taiwan sold a total of 2,886 tons of fresh “other citrus” last year, of which 2,483 tons were shipped to the mainland, accounting for as much as 86 per cent, “White belt fish, fresh or cold”, 9146 tons were shipped to the mainland last year, all of them 100 per cent, and 4226 tons were exported to the “cold mackerel” last year, of which 21,61 tons were sent to the mainland, accounting for about 50 per cent. In addition, on the evening of 1 August, the General Customs Administration announced that some of the Taiwan manufacturers had violated the relevant regulations by suspending their entry as a matter of urgency, which, in accordance with the Regulations of the General Customs Administration No. 248 on the Administration of the Register of Enterprises for the Importation and Importation of Food Products of the People's Republic of China, restricted the movement to the mainland of goods from Taiwan that had not been registered for renewal. According to the media, there is no shortage of well-known operators in these companies, including Wiggies, Guo Yuanmi Foods, Viagra Foods, Tasty All Foods and Tarzan Enterprises, as well as water products, tea and honey from Taiwan. The economy of Taiwan behind GDP growth is bleak.
Indeed, behind seemingly “bright” GDP and stock market data, Taiwan's economy today also faces many risks.
In 2021, tax revenue from Taiwan Province was 2.5 trillion yuan, an increase of 45.1 billion yuan, an increase of 18.6 per cent over the same period the previous year, and tax revenue exceeded 2 trillion yuan for eight consecutive years. The Chinese Times reports that there are 17 large military purchases of more than HK$ 10 billion in the defence sector’s budget for 2022, with a total of US$ 842.8 billion in military investment, combined with other secret budget military purchases, which amount to more than US$ 13,300 billion. In addition, the authorities of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), after coming to power, sought to achieve economic governance by using fiscal and financial means to stimulate economic growth and implementing forward-looking infrastructure projects. Debt borrowing in 2016-2020 was as high as $1.3 trillion, leading to a continued increase in the debt burden. In 2021, the DPP authorities introduced a “4.0” programme, with two special budgets of $41.49 billion for relief, further increasing the fiscal risk of the “government” in Taiwan at all levels. According to the competent financial services of the Taiwan authorities, by the end of October 2021, the total outstanding debt of the Taiwan authorities for more than one year amounted to $5.7 trillion. If local debt was added, the debt would amount to $6.4 billion, which together represented 33.7 per cent of the average GDP for the previous three years; the debt burden per capita had reached 274,000 Yuan. The people of Taiwan have gathered to protest against the fact that the authorities of Taiwan have purchased weapons from the United States, affecting their livelihood. (Source: Big Communiqué)
Moreover, despite the rapid pace of development in the areas of semiconductors, communications, and electronic precision manufacturing through industrial upgrading, Taiwan is in the lead globally. But strong developments in semiconductors, electronics, have created new industrial imbalances.
Xiamen University’s Deputy Director of Taiwan’s Research Center, Tang Yonghong, pointed out that Taiwan’s current high economic growth is largely due to the information and electronics industry. If the two categories of information and audio-visual products and electronic zero components are excluded, most of Taiwan’s exports are in recession.
“The uneven industrial structure leads to a serious imbalance in the distribution of economic outcomes. The information and electronics industry earns – and the tourism industry is hit – and traditional manufacturing output falls.
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