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When you think this was ridiculous, then I take it as a compliment. The question was rhetorical, but it highlighted leverage as Taiwan cannot stop trade with China and realistically sustain itself. It’s the same reason Australia needs to make some practical decisions, if it wants to gain a piece of the domestic Chinese consumption. Whether you like it our not, Australia has a choice to do business with countries that mainly have cheap labor, or it can do business with a country like China, that in addition to cheap labor, has large domestic savings, and large government spending, stability, and can give countries and companies with the right products and services, a huge market. Choose wisely, since there are many Taiwanese businesses that have spoken loud and clear as to what they want. But whether CSB got the message, via the negative reaction to his New Year speech, is questionable!
I’m an American, and consistent with that, I voice my opinions, and examine my own government, openly! Learn the culture and be consistent will you?
I agree with you that China will eventually need to unleash that doormat savings onto the world market, in order to keep those FDIs coming, and keep the foreign companies and countries investing! But the key point here is those whose have savings (China’s liquidity) have the leverage over those who have large debts. That’s basic finance!
It’s true that Taiwan’s external, internal and budget deficit is not as bad as US. Are you looking for a pat on the back? That’s really not saying much since Japan is the only industrialize country in the world with a higher percentage of debts to GDP. Is that like comparing an ugly car to an even uglier car, so the ugly car looks better by comparison?
Taiwan needs to trade with China. It doesn’t have the leverage to change the regional dynamics. But I will use your India example just to illustrate leverage. Let’s say Taiwan is stupid enough to move major operations to India (and this is not disparaging India since I know there are some very smart folks there, but it is to compliment Taiwan because I can see there are smart practical folks there who understand practical tradeoffs over political ideology) China can implement soft power by imposing economic sanctions on Taiwan, and use its leverage to convince other countries not to do business with Taiwan, or it will have no access to China’s markets. China can also cut off financing since it has substance savings sitting in its Central Bank, and is in fact a world lender. As Taiwan's debts increase, it will be more vulnerable to lost of financing!
When you add to that the negative responses by smart Taiwanese business people and how the market dropped after CSB’s New Year speech with the ambiguous language, even you should keep it real enough to acknowledge Taiwan doesn’t have leverage, or it would have used it by now! Empty threat, but good for some laughs. Thanks!