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【轉載】台灣與中國
新聞報導 -
作者 PHILIP BOWRING / POAVOSA 翻譯   
2009-10-07


Photo Source: 極光電子報

New York Times 紐約時報

October 7, 2009
Op-Ed Contributor
Taiwan and China
台灣與中國

By PHILIP BOWRING

翻譯 by poavosa

香港-台灣做為一個實質獨立國家的地位似乎正在緩慢轉變中,走向香港「一國兩制」的狀態。這個過程並非不可逆轉,不過執政國民黨外省人的想法,以及商業集團的私利與普遍的經濟弱勢感,這些都正在把台灣推向與北京妥協。

這個傾向可能代表了台灣從米國與日本得到的支持,儘管不穩定,正受到侵蝕。

渴望取悅北京,以付出台灣近來得到許多讚美的民主價值為代價,這種作法最明顯的證據就是拒絕流亡的維吾爾領袖熱比婭‧卡德爾入境。這項以「國家利益」為名義的舉動很明顯與預期即將完成的海峽兩岸經濟交流備忘錄有關。

當然,這項備忘錄將是重要的進展,特別是讓銀行業得以脫離台灣低成長低盈餘的限制,走向快速成長的大陸。這也會將更多大陸資本引入當地的股市與房地產。不過馬英九政府可能已經忘了,台灣做為一個獨立國家,就算有一天要與大陸合併,其國家利益有時也需要有所犧牲。熱比婭‧卡德爾一直為維吾爾人追求的自治程度只是台灣或甚至香港所享有的一部份。

增進海峽兩岸經濟聯繫有實質的利益。銀行能夠透過服務在大陸經營企業的台灣客戶獲利。海峽兩岸聯繫也會吸引服務業到台灣,否則他們會到香港去。大陸觀光客毫無疑問也是個加分。

不過台灣似乎正在自我催眠,讓自己相信他們真的那麼需要依賴中國。台灣如果能夠解除更多現有保護本土企業的政策,或是只是排除官僚政治及過時的規定,這樣就可以吸引更多的外國企業。賦稅的問題也讓外國企業不想進來,而且無法阻止資金大幅外流。馬政府在這些議題上有所進展,不過比起兩岸議題來,這些都得不到關切。將停滯的經濟歸罪於無法完全從大陸得到好處比較簡單。不過事實上台灣是個勞動力沒有成長的成熟經濟體。就像日本一樣,台灣的問題在於缺乏本地服務業,而不是有創意的外銷製造業。

對中國的依賴一再被誇大。儘管台灣出口 40% 是輸往中國,不過其中超過半數卻是行銷全球商品的零件。這些商品包括由台灣公司製造,從中國再出口的筆記型電腦與手機。這種依賴是為了利益而自我設定的。當大陸的成本升高時就可以轉移。還有其他的選擇。

台灣的友人也因為執政國民黨的強大支持者對反對勢力進行報復而對台灣的自由民主感到憂慮。前總統陳水扁被判處貪污罪,他的行為讓反對的民進黨士氣低落而感到挫折。不過以金錢政治盛行的程度以及國民黨人過去的貪污名聲來說,陳水扁的無期徒刑實在太超過。而目前在打擊貪腐的名義下,已經有人說這是對陳水扁政府其他成員的獵巫行動。對某些人來說,這意味著主張統一者藉由妖魔化支持獨立並因打破國民黨威權統治而受了很多苦的陳水扁來討好北京。

這些都對台灣與其主要支持者米國的關係沒有幫助。陳水扁企圖在台灣得到政治利益而不必要的激怒北京,因而讓天生的同盟布希感到不快。而目前國民黨似乎已經走向另外一個極端。台灣不願花錢購買軍備已經讓華盛頓失望很久了,而米國現在也可能意識到台灣不願為他們宣稱擁護的獨立與自由的原則付出經濟代價。馬總統在國外仍然保有好名聲,不過他卻無法完全掌控對國民黨。台灣對本身、對如何在兼顧自由民主及實質獨立下平衡與中國大陸、米國、及全球經濟的關係缺乏策略性的視野。


原文

October 7, 2009
Op-Ed Contributor
Taiwan and China
By PHILIP BOWRING

HONG KONG — Taiwan’s position as a de facto independent state seems to be morphing very slowly toward the “one country, two systems” status of Hong Kong. The process is not irreversible but the sentiments of those of mainland origin in the governing Nationalist Party, along with the self-interest of business groups and a widespread sense of economic vulnerability are all pushing the island toward accommodation with Beijing.

The trend could mean an erosion in the support Taiwan gets, albeit erratically, from the United States and Japan.

The most striking evidence of a desire to please Beijing — at the expense of the liberal values which have gained Taiwan much praise in recent years — was the denial of entry to the exiled Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer. This was done in the name of “national interest,” apparently linked to the finalization, expected soon, of a memorandum of understanding on cross-strait financial links.

For sure, the memorandum would be a major advance, enabling banks in particular to escape the confines of Taiwan, with its low growth and surplus savings, for the fast-growing mainland. And it would bring more mainland capital to local stocks and property. But the government of President Ma Ying-jeou may have forgotten that Taiwan’s national interest as an independent state, albeit one that may one day merge with the mainland, sometimes requires sacrifices. The degree of autonomy that Rebiya Kadeer has been seeking for Uighurs is a fraction of that enjoyed by Taiwan or even Hong Kong.

There is real benefit in increasing cross-straits financial links. Banks have much to gain by being able to service clients in Taiwan with business on the mainland. Cross-straits links may attract service industries to Taiwan that would otherwise go to Hong Kong. Mainland tourism is also an unqualified plus.

But Taiwan seems to be talking itself into believing that it is even more dependent on the mainland than need be the case. The island would be a more attractive place for foreign business if it removed the many restrictions that exist to protect local businesses, or stem simply from bureaucracy and outdated rules. Tax issues also tend to keep business offshore while not preventing a huge outflow of capital. The Ma government has made progress on these issues, but they get scant attention compared to cross-straits ones.

It is easy to blame a lackluster economy on being unable to take full advantage of the mainland. But in reality, Taiwan is a mature economy with minimal growth in its work force. Like Japan, its problems lie with an inefficient domestic services sector, not with an inventive export-manufacturing one.

Dependence on China is often overstated. While 40 percent of Taiwan’s exports go there, more than half are components for globally traded items like laptops and cellphones made by Taiwanese companies and then re-exported from China. The dependence is self-imposed for profit reasons, which may be shifting as mainland costs rise. There are alternatives.

Worrying too for friends of Taiwan’s liberal democracy is the vengeance being meted out to the opposition by powerful supporters of the governing Nationalist Party, or KMT. Former president Chen Shui-bian was found guilty of corruption and his conduct has left the opposition Democratic Progressive Party demoralized and frustrated. But given the pervasiveness of money politics and the past reputation of the Nationalists for corruption, the life sentence for Chen is extreme. Now, in the name of fighting corruption, there is talk of a witch-hunt against other members of the Chen administration. To some this smacks of an attempt by pro-unification elements to please Beijing by demonizing Chen, who supported independence and who suffered much in the cause of breaking the KMT’s authoritarian hold on power.

None of this is likely to help Taiwan’s relations with its main supporter, the United States. Chen upset a natural ally in George W. Bush by needlessly provoking Beijing in an attempt to score political points at home. Now the KMT seems to have gone to the other extreme. Taiwan has long disappointed Washington with unwillingness to spend money on arms. Now it may sense a lack of willingness to pay an economic price for the principles of independence and liberalism it claims to stand for. President Ma remains well-regarded abroad, but his grip on the KMT is uncertain. Taiwan lacks a strategic view of itself and how to balance relations with the Chinese mainland, the United States and the global economy with liberal democracy and de facto independence.

 

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