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The Republic of Taiwan: Born Out of Economic Ties and Unions January 17, 2007

Posted by David in North-East Asia.
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A story from the Associated Press, concerning the formation of unions on targeted companies within China, appeared on the International Herald Tribune today.

According to this report, a union has been created at a Taiwanese-owned factory that was cited by China’s state-sanctioned labor federation as an example of anti-union foreign companies. This latest union was established on December 31, 2006. It is an affiliate of All-China Federation of Trade Unions, which is simply another arm of Chinas Communist Party.

This particular union was set up at a factory run by a Foxconn subsidiary, Hongfujin Precision Industry, the largest Taiwanese investor in China. Foxconn is the trade name of Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry, the world’s biggest electronics contract manufacturer. Hongfujin manufactures Apples iPod.

In China, companies, domestic or foreign, have no say when it comes to allowing the creation of unions.

However, despite these types of challenges and a lack of political relations between the two countries, China’s annual trade with Taiwan reached a record $100 billion last year. As a matter of fact, trade between China and Taiwan continues to grow significantly despite political tensions between the two, states a BBC News reports. China imported $87bn worth of goods from Taiwan, up 16.6% on the year before, while Taiwanese firms invested $2.14bn on the mainland.”

As well, according to the article, tourism between the two is also booming.  A Chinese government spokesman claimed that, Taiwanese people made more than four million visits to China last year while more than 200,000 mainland Chinese visited Taiwan.

Given the ever-growing ties between Taiwan and China, and their growing economic inter-dependence, I feel Chinas option to use force against Taiwan, in the event Taiwan ever declares sovereignty, is fading away.

Taiwan should consciously and carefully encourage these types of ties, and arrange things, as best a possible, to make certain that an attack on Taiwan (from China) would be dreadful to Chinas economy.

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