To counter China, India must look towards Taiwan

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by Singh, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    Crouching Dragon, Hidden Tiger



    Taiwan is remote from Indian concerns. Yet one of the most salient issues in elections held a couple of weeks ago in this island nation of 23 million - one of the original Asian tigers whose per capita income, adjusted for purchasing power, now exceeds Japan's - has clear resonance for India. It's how to cope with a rising China.

    A growing China clearly represents an opportunity for Taiwan's export-led economy at a time when western markets have stalled. Taiwanese businessmen encounter few linguistic or cultural differences when they venture to the mainland. Coming in the way of fraternal feeling, however, are an esti-mated 1,200-2,000 missiles positioned by China across the Taiwan strait, threatening the island.

    President Ma Ying-jeou and his ruling Kuomintang Party see mostly the opportunity side of the equation. That led him to lift a half-century-old ban on contact with the mainland in his last term. From no direct flights till December 2008, there are now about 530 flights a week between the island and the mainland, while Chinese tourists throng Taipei 101. The two sides also signed a quasi-free trade deal in 2010 - causing trade between them to reach a whopping $150 billion.

    The opposition Democratic Progressive Party, on the other hand, emphasises the threat side of the equation with China. Nevertheless, Ma may have placed his bets right, as galloping trade with China prevented Taiwan's globalised economy from suffering too much from the worldwide financial crisis. And voters just rewarded him for it by handing him a second term and his party a dominant legislative position.

    The opportunity/threat matrix that China presents to Taiwan mirrors in many ways China's complex foreign policy challenge for India. China helped set up Pakistan's nuclear arsenal by transferring nuclear and missile technology and equipment. It isn't too keen to settle the border dispute with India - thus keeping open the prospect of a border war and forcing high military costs on India. It also needles India diplomatically through moves such as stapling visas or blocking India at global forums.

    Yet China is one of India's biggest trading partners and the vastness of its markets spells opportunity. From the point of view of New Delhi's 'Look East' strategy, this is where Taiwan could come in. It's a friendly country that can not only help India fulfil some of its domestic economic objectives, but also strategic goals vis-a-vis China.

    Taiwan is bulging with investible foreign exchange reserves - the fourth highest in the world. It has proven expertise in areas such as electronics hardware manufacturing, building infrastructure and enhancing agricultural productivity. New Delhi could sign a free trade deal with Taipei and invite it to help set up an industrial corridor between, say, Delhi and Kolkata (just as the Japanese are facilitating the Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor). Such economic partnership would eminently suit the Taiwanese, as they would like to diversify and have a stake in all of Asia's growth poles instead of placing all their eggs in the Chinese basket. It would also enhance growth and jobs in India. If, for example, India used Taiwanese help to boost its electronics hardware capabilities, that could mate existing strengths in software to make India one of the most competitive players in consumer electronics and computing.

    One of the reasons New Delhi may fight shy of an enhanced relationship with Taiwan is fear of provoking China. But that approach is outmoded - if it was ever valid - given that Beijing itself is dramatically upgrading its relationship with Taipei. The other problem, however, is a subtle one. It has to do with cultural difference, which deters Taiwanese firms from investing in India. It`s worth keeping in mind here that unlike the chaebol-type conglomerates of Japan and South Korea, small and medium-sized businesses predomi-nate in the Taiwanese economy.

    But then, it is imperative from India's point of view to break into the Sinosphere, which could soon be (or has already become) the second most important cultural zone after the Anglosphere. And here too, the Taiwanese can help. Why not make it attractive for Taiwanese teachers to teach Mandarin in Indian schools, colleges and universities, while sending Indian students to Taiwan to soak up Chinese culture?

    Once such cultural expertise comes India's way, it could begin to crack one of its biggest problems with China - the vastly asymmetrical trade relationship. Not only are Chinese exports to India roughly double of Indian exports to China, India mostly exports raw materials to China and takes back manufactured goods. Unlike India, however, Taiwan usually notches up trade surpluses with China. Working with Taiwan, therefore, would help Indian businesses crack cultural codes and business practices on the mainland, and make a dent in the Chinese market for goods other than raw materials.

    Stepping up links with Taiwan could also address the political asymmetry with China. If Chinese diplomacy rides roughshod on Indian concerns, New Delhi could retaliate with calibrated moves on Taiwan. Let's say Beijing blocks Asian Development Bank funding for projects in India's northeast, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh could announce an official trip to Taiwan. As for ministerial visits, they ought to be routine.

    If India is finally looking east after decades of neglect, Taiwan shouldn't be so remote from its concerns after all. It's time to move towards a more robust partnership.

    Crouching dragon, hidden tiger - The Times of India
     
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  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Taiwan is an area of opportunity in trade and having an listening outpost to China.

    It is also important to indicate that India does not care about Chinese sensitivity.
     
  4. no smoking

    no smoking Senior Member Senior Member

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    I just wonder this author has any business sense?

    The reason that China imported manufacture products from taiwan is that these products are either far better quality or completely designed for taiwanese factories in mainland. What make him think that indian products can beat chinese products in taiwan while they cannot do the same thing in india own market?

    And what make him think that culture barriers won't be a problem in india-taiwan trade while taiwan is sharing the same cultrual background with mainland?
     
  5. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    I presume the cultural barrier will be less in Taiwan because more people speak English than Mainland China and are used to western culture with which the Indians are more comfortable than with the Mainland Chinese culture which is a trifle coarse or so it is believed, like people hawking and all other issues mentioned in the Chinese Govt guidelines on behaviour and etiquette to be maintain during the Olympics!
     
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  6. nimo_cn

    nimo_cn Senior Member Senior Member

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    Well, Indians should open their mind and find out how taiwanese think about them by frequenting some forums based in taiwan, then talk about being close to taiwanese. Otherwise, you will end up like Ray fantasizing about being adored by everyone in this world.
     
  7. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    No one adores anyone.

    It is all based on what is mutually beneficial and the comfort levels.

    It is easier to work with English understanding and culturally not offensive people and who share the values of democracy.

    It is obvious given the choice between Communist China and Republic of China, the latter is a sure winner!

    In ROC, there is a law and not a law that depends on the interpretation of a Communist Party.

    We have seen what the Chinese Mafia did to Indian workers when their Pakistani owner bolted into the blue. Lawless country and what was even more pathetic was the lame excuse that the district police are not educated and such tripe!
     
  8. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Taiwanese want business and earn money. That is why KMT is in power as it is making deals with china which is giving Taiwanese people opportunity to make money. Chinese may not think much of India even but then trade with India is increasing. Go to US forums and you will see them abuse the Chinese but then the fact is they do business with them. If the Taiwanese people see the money, they will go there.

    India is one of the hot favorites for foreign investments. Credit rating has increased. You can live in your own world mate.
     
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  9. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    And just to update our good Chinese posters, Yusuf has just returned from Taiwan having made a damn good deal with them.

    He has also visited China.

    And he knows what he is talking about!
     
  10. nimo_cn

    nimo_cn Senior Member Senior Member

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    How many of taiwanese actually speak English?
    100% percent of them speak Chinese, so more language barriers between taiwan and Indian than between taiwan and mainland.

    Taiwanese observe Spring festival, Middle autumn day, the Dragon Boat Festival, etc, what Indian festival do they observe? So more cultural barriers between taiwan and Indian than between taiwan and mainland.

    In general, taiwanese may not feel comfortable with mainland since we threat to invade them when talking about politics, but we are familiar and bonded with each other in real life. Indians are just strangers to them whether it is about politics or real life.

    It is hilarious that Indians just think democracy can bring them everything, from prosperity to taiwanese affection.
     
  11. nimo_cn

    nimo_cn Senior Member Senior Member

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    And just to update our good Indian posters.

    I have been friend with two taiwanese girls since 2009, and we talked through IM and mail,one of them send me a gift during the Spring festival. And I also knew Taiwanese when I was in college.

    You definitely can find taiwanese who hate Chinese from mailand, but if you think in general they perfer Indians to Chinese in mainland, that is just a joke.


    Yusuf, why not tell us how popular are Indians in taiwan since you have been to taiwan?
     
  12. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The allegories and debating points are misplaced.

    When one does business with Taiwan, it is not that they are doing business with petty shopkeeper selling noodles or staying with some local Chinese. Therefore, language is not an issue that will cause barriers.

    Taiwan has had a long exposure to Westerners compared to the Communist Chinese and so their behaviour and attitude will be ideal for dealing with.

    Culture does not mean doing a Dragon Dance or sipping endless cups of tea and wontons. It means comfort levels of interaction at the level that one has gone to do business with.

    Taiwanese are hardly similar to the Mainland Chinese.

    Mandarin as spoken informally in Taiwan has some notable differences in vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation with official Standard Mandarin, differences which have arisen mainly under influence from Taiwanese Hokkien.
     
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  13. nimo_cn

    nimo_cn Senior Member Senior Member

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    Yes, India is one of the hot favorites for foreign investments Why, they go and invest in India because they feel comfortable with Indian democracy, culture, language? In that case, why don't they invest in India right after India reformed in 1990s, instead they came to invest in mainland?

    Come on, it is all because of money, it is stated in your own post.
     
  14. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    What has friend on the net or social networking to do with knowing Taiwan.

    Have you been there? Done business there?

    Yusuf has been there, done that!

    That is the litmus test!
     
  15. nimo_cn

    nimo_cn Senior Member Senior Member

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    Taiwanese are more similar to Indians than they are mainland Chinese, is that what you want to say?
     
  16. nimo_cn

    nimo_cn Senior Member Senior Member

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    \

    Have you been to taiwan?

    Have you even been friends with taiwanese on internet?

    Have you even talked with taiwanese in your real life, even once?

    Have you even read first hand taiwanese material?

    You made your post about taiwan being closer to India than to Mainland before Yusuf made his.

    And Yusuf's post doesn't prove your point that Indians are prefered by taiwanese for your democray, language, culture as you have suggested.
     
  17. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Nimo, my hosts only had a problem with the system. Everyone includin Indians have a problem with the system in India. But those with think skins and quest for money came and got stuck in and reaped the rewards. Some of the western companies make obscene amount of profit in India. I have seen it. Bosch sells their stuff cheaper in the european and mid east market than in India. The price difference is huge. Bosch came to India eons ago. People ask for it by its name.

    Taiwan can make a lot of money. The thing with Taiwan is that they don't have billion dollar enterprises. Most companies there are say $25 million companies on average. The one I import from right now has sales of $70 million. They have no interest in opening their own offices but work through me.

    I am sure there are bigger companies who have money to invest and reap the benefit.

    Business is a very funny thing. Can get two enemies together. US and china is the biggest example.
     
  18. SADAKHUSH

    SADAKHUSH Senior Member Senior Member

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    Nimo_cn:

    What kind of cultural similarities are you talking about? Is it the talking loudly over the phone or spitting in the public places? When China opened the tourism to Taiwan recently, Do you know what was the main complaint the hotels had about visitors from mainland China? Let me share with you, "A". Talk to loud on mobile phone. "B". Unable to stand in line patiently, which I observe in Canada as well. There are some more marked differences(Cultural) between people from Taiwan and Mainland China which I am not going to mention because my opinion might be misconceived as a racists derogatory comment.

    In those hotels they made a separate line for Mainland China's visitors rather then upsetting the Japanese tourist so there goes your cultural similarities down the tube.

    We are talking about opening the doors to business houses of Taiwan and developing geo political latitude with Taiwan which is making your Government re-think your overall strategy towards India. Due to ill conceived policy of your PLA and CCP towards her neighbours all the planning of the past with hidden agendas is backfiring. We might have opened our economy later than yours but we will catch up to yours and surpass as well.
     
  19. SADAKHUSH

    SADAKHUSH Senior Member Senior Member

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    You have to read Ray's post ten times in order to understand crux of his message. All he is saying that Taiwanese have a different outlook towards life. He is also making a point that to develop business relationship cultural similarities or differences do not matter much as long as one can realize the economic benefits in a long run. In Canada, I have some friends from Taiwan and ask them the question, If Taiwanese are similar to people from Mainland China
    in their cultural
     
  20. Illusive

    Illusive Senior Member Senior Member

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    If it isn't a problem in having trade relation with China being culturally so different and also considering some hosility between us in the past, how does it make difficult in case of Taiwan? Both countries can have a better relation than just trade.
     
  21. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    Actually Taiwanese are a lot different from Mainlanders as Yusuf / Sada observe (and not u alone), more westernized, more courteous, more 'confucian' , more disciplined, - though the cultural roots underneath may be the same. Mainlanders, overall speaking, need to catch up in many ways to mature in spite of visible material achievements.

    My wild guess - one of factors - lebensraum is so limited on ML that people have to "raise their voices" to get heard, in a phase TW or JP has passed by long since.

    Back to business relationship indeed totally commercial benefit oriented. But it's very doubtful how long those TW-based manufacturing (not pointing to any specific sector though) can survive due to lack of 'scale'. Most commonplace nowadays is they keep admin / marketing / R&D in TW, while outsourcing / migrating 'sweaty' jobs to Mainland - in view of the enormous cost gaps. If u check how much TW's hub port Kaohsiung has declined these years off the Top 10 List worldwide u'd get a feel...

    World rank of Kaohsiung port in TEUs handled
    [​IMG]


    As for enhancing Indo-TW ties in an attempt to counter China, it's totally up to your assessment :wave:
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2012
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