True? :-D

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/women-are-better-investors-and-heres-why-2011-06-14

Haha…this is so true.  Will Taiwan make the right decision in 2012?  We will see.

(Edit: but then again…what is up with Ma’s 讚妹團?  Those girls certainly look foolish.  But actually, that is a perfect example of guys thinking with their d**k instead of their brain.  Those girls probably made a bunch of money (although if I am a girl I won’t want to dance around and looking like a fool).  And this act of objectify girls might actually irritate some women.  So Ma is probably the real fool here.)

Result of CCP and KMT Propaganda

A lot of interesting happens recently.  But the following is just a random thought that has nothing to do with the recent events.

The more I think about it, the more I realize ever since WW2 information and ideas could be used as weapons, sometimes achieving destruction even greater than nuclear bombs.  The obvious examples are Nazi’s propaganda against Jews and political oppositions, communists’ propaganda and of course China’s “Great Leap Forward” and “Culture Revolution.”  However, a lot of times people don’t seem to realize what a lasting effect CCP and KMT propaganda has on the current delima faced by Taiwan.

Take, for example, CCP and KMT’s continuous claim that Taiwan is part of China.  If we ignore all the propaganda spread by them, we will realize that ROC(KMT)’s claim on Taiwan is really problematic, and PRC(CCP)’s claim on Taiwan is complete BShit.  However, because both parties have been claiming on it for so long, people actually take it “for granted.”  I don’t think people believe the propaganda fully, and take the statement with a grain of salt.  However, even this partial belief proves deadly to Taiwan.  Let me try to explain it below (I think it is kind of complicated so I don’t know if I can show it clearly, but anyway…)

To a Foreigner Who Has No In Depth Understanding of Taiwan:  When a foreigner who have no understanding of Taiwan heard this propaganda, he/she might not believe it fully in that he/she knows that right now Taiwan is not part of China.  However, he/she is unable to deny such claim in any way, therefore, he/she will likely choose to believe that there is some truth behind this claim.  The usual conclusion they reach would be similar to the following “Taiwan is currently independent, but it is supposed to be part of China (legally).  Therefore, although I might sympathize with Taiwan’s situation, there is nothing wrong for China to “unify” Taiwan…”  They might even go so far as to feel sorry for China because it is still struggling to “unify lost territories.”  They will also be totally confused by all the names such as ROC, PRC, Chinese Taipei, Taiwan Province of China etc etc.  In this case, propaganda leads to confusion, which leads to less support for Taiwan.  (The situation is really like a tug of war, China will say one thing, and pan-green Taiwanese supporters will say another.  A foreigner who has no idea would think that the truth probably lies somewhere “in the middle.”  But by going “in the middle” they are actually falling into Chinese trap, because what China says is complete BS…but because China says it the loudest, it is able to pull some in its way.)

To Taiwanese Themselves:  This propaganda creates a lot of problems even among Taiwanese themselves.  The best way to described it is a psychological problem called “identity crisis.”  That is indeed the best way to describe it.  The propaganda often confuse the issues of culture, language and nationhood.  Taiwanese feel they are different from Chinese, but at the same time they use the same language.  Taiwanese also has a culture different from China’s, but at the same time, Chinese culture is indeed part of Taiwanese culture.  All these are actually not a big deal, but the problem arise when the propaganda linked and equate Chinese culture with Chinese claim of Taiwan.  Anyone with a clear head will note the falsehood immediately (ex. Canada, US and Australia not part of UK.  And Singapore not part of China)  However, because this propaganda has be driven deep into the mind of Taiwanese, there are still a lot of Taiwanese who can only think “inside the box.”  However, recently, there are more and more Taiwanese who is able to see through the box, but I do not know how many.

To Governmental Officials: The confusion doesn’t just go on in the public, but even governments of different countries are mostly confused.  This is quite evident in the US.  The US has vast interested in Asia Pacific, therefore, their officials often have to say something about China and Taiwan etc.  However, it is very clear that a lot of them have absolutely no clue to what the TRA says etc.  Some of them are even totally confused as to what their own US policy toward China and Taiwan is.  Some of them, I would even say, are influenced heavily by Chinese propaganda.

Taiwanese officials are not much better.  Especially the older KMT elite member, including Ma himself, are totally pro-China and seem to have this “big China dream” of some sort.  The recent misconduct of the retired generals are very good examples and evidences.  Interestingly, although their actions are filled with pro-China evidence, they try very hard to hide it when they speak, especially during the election.  They might even “get angry or nervous” when people point it out.  They, IMO, are a lost bunch…they will never be able to go outside of their current frame of mindset.

Ignorance brings tragedies, and Pen is indeed mightier than the Sword.  But, to be optimistic, I am pretty sure there are ways to peel away this layers of propaganda piled on by the CCP and KMT for the past…6 decades…but it is going to take time and effort.

Explosion of Foxconn

Recently there was an explosion in Foxconn’s factory in China.  This happens right after the company tries to move its supply chains west inland in China to lower the labour cost.

Like I mentioned before, I do not like the company Foxconn that much and I don’t like their strategy of just keep chasing after the cheapest labour in China.  From the company point of view, I don’t think this is the right and sustainable strategy.  And looking at it from a Macro perspective, it does not add much economic benefit to Taiwan.  On the bigger scheme of things, the company and its capital basically got dragged by China’s policy further and further west (yea…the company really looks like China’s bitch) while its profit margin gets lower and lower.

I already mentioned a lot why I think these type of companies do not benefit Taiwan and can actually create problems for Taiwan…so I won’t repeat them here.  And now it seems the company’s relentless pursuit of cheap labour (instead of automation or other strategy direction) really back fires.  (6 suicide, and now explosion in its new factory…really a managerial disaster that few companies face).

Right now the company still makes money simply due to economy of scale, but I think in the long term there should be other Taiwanese companies that can substitute it.  I think we can also use Foxconn as a benchmark that Taiwan should cross over…in another word, when Taiwan has some companies that surpass companies such as Foxconn that have to rely on China, in terms of profitability and size, then you know Taiwan has successfully upgrades its economy.

The Discrimination and Injustice of International Community

The recent WHO leaked document and various other things happening in the international community got me thinking.  While Ma and China are the main culprits behind these unilateral change of Taiwan’s status that severely insulted Taiwan’s sovereignty and dignity, I also feel that the international organizations are extremely friendly toward China and discriminate Taiwan.

Think about it, the US and all these international organizations keep saying Taiwan should keep “Status quo,” especially before 2008, during Chen’s administration.  (Can’t change constitution, can’t change name,…etc etc…these f****** practically try to meddle Taiwan’s own business)  But now they are the one that seem overly eager to change Taiwan’s status to “Province of China”.  It really makes me feel a great sense of betrayal.

While these “intellectuals” give their big talk on human rights and “helping the poor, environment and world peace…blah, blah, blah.” (Chinese officials in WHO says the same shit.) their organizations create process and norm that changes Taiwan status and discriminate against Taiwan.  It just seems that China has a much easier time controlling and influencing these so-called international organizations.  Well, actually, these organizations are basically China’s whores in a sense.

Now why is this?  I do not know…but yea these organizations and the scum bags that filled them disgust me more and more.  But I suppose there is not much we can do except somehow defend Taiwan from these farts and let those organizations rot.

The Death of ROC by Ma

Hehe…haven’t blog for a long time.  Recently there are a lot of things happenings in and around Taiwan that are  significant to Taiwan:

  • The Earthquake/Tsunami/Nuclear Disaster in Japan: The devastation in Japan definitely has many significant meanings to Taiwan.  1. Because of the potential earth quake and tsunami in Taiwan, the disaster in Japan is a huge warning sign that Taiwan has to heed.  Taiwan currently has 4 nuclear power plants.  In so small an area, a similar disaster could be a lot worse in Taiwan.  Anyone with some brain would like to shut those nuclear plants down by finding alternative energy source and ways to use electricity more efficiently.  2. Taiwan actually donated the most money to Japan (even more than the US).  This surprised me somewhat because it indicates a very strong tie in private sector between Japan and Taiwan.  And for those that can understand Japanese or Chinese, there is an interesting discussion in a Japanese television show: http://video.hi-on.org.tw/view.jsp?id=1014
  • DPP’s  Tsai to Run for Presidency: Another big news is of course DPP’s chairwoman Tsai Ing-Wen victory in DPP’s presidential candidate election and is now running for Presidency.  So far the poll is positive, and there is indeed a chance that Tsai can win in 2012.  But I don’t want to be over optimistic here because I know KMT and CCP will do anything in their power to win, and their combined force would be considerable.  However, Ma’s (and perhaps even KMT’s) popularity is indeed dwindling.  We will just have to wait and see.
  • World Health Organization (WHO)’s Leaked Document: The most recent development is the leaked document from WHO in which it informs all its member to use the term “Taiwan Province of China” to call Taiwan….etc.  I don’t want to go into great detail here, because it is all over the news in Taiwan anyway.  Needless to say, this is a huge blow to the Ma government and China, and both are now trying to deflect the anger of Taiwanese by lying.  (check out the video…mildly funny to see jerks trying to cover lies with more lies).
  • Professional Starcraft 2 in Taiwan: This is not a big thing for Taiwan, but to Starcraft 2 fans this is a good news and actually it gave me some interesting insight when put together with the other major events.  Artosis, a famous Starcraft professional player and commentator, actually visited Taiwan and did a fantastic video of the new tournament.  It is obvious that he had a positive impression of Taiwan.

So basically here is just some of my extra thought based on these recent event:

Private sector and individual seem to have more appreciation of Taiwan.  As indicate by the events, it seems clear that private sector and individuals are much more friendlier than public sector and international institution to Taiwan.  At least from Taiwan’s perspective, international institutions have continuously add insults upon insults against Taiwan.  (Personally I want to put KMT, China, WHO, UN and Olympic flags together and burn them)

This is especially true for those private sector and individuals that do not have any tie with China.  Western game industry, for example, has a tough time in China (due to censorship), so they seem to be friendlier toward Taiwan.  Individuals such as 山際澄夫 and Artosis, who do not based their living on China, could be free in treating Taiwan as what it is, not what China says it is, based on simple conscience and common sense.   Where as international institutions have to be China’s bitches.  Of course, not all individuals and private organizations are friendly to Taiwan.  Some are brain washed by China and some have vast interests in China…etc, but nevertheless, overall they are better than large international organizations.

This re-affirm my theory that, Taiwan cannot gain international support through international institutions.  The more governmental and bureaucratic the institutions are, the more China has penetrated them, and the less support Taiwan can gain from them.  (WHO, Olympics, UN are the some top examples).  Therefore, perhaps this calls for a new strategic thinking in international relationship for Taiwan.  I am not saying giving up on trying to gain ground with big institution, but Taiwan should understand that organization such as UN is not the place where Taiwan can gain support.  Instead, perhaps Taiwan can gain more from individuals and organizations that are more immune to the economic leverage of China.

The recent actions of Ma government finally puts the last nail to the coffin of ROC.  The name ROC no longer has any meaning what-so-ever outside of Taiwan and history.  It is ironic that the final blow comes from someone who pan-blue thinks is the champion of ROC.  ROC IMO is now truly dead. (Taiwan might still use ROC flag and part of ROC constitution, but those are more like legacy inheritance from an entity that is already gone…like someone pull the boots from a dead body and wears them even though they don’t fit very well because he/she has no shoes)  But now the real question is, what will and should happen to Taiwan?  Ma and those around him is still eager to sell Taiwan out to China, as are some of the governmental officials in the US who have vast interest in China.  On the other hand, of course, there are those who want to defend the interest of Taiwan.  This is both an opportunity and a threat…I am optimistic, but will have to wait and see what happens next.

Another Excellent Blog on The Recent Issue with China and Philippine

Another excellent blog on the same issue: 轉移焦點的招數每次都會有效嗎??

Like I mentioned before, Philippine is not stupid.  When Ma government act like this, I don’t think even the pan-red(blue) people take him seriously.  International relation sometimes seems ridiculously complex and stupid, but IMO the underlining principle seems quite simple: if you don’t respect yourself and others, others will not respect you.  And the core of the problem, like the blog pointed out, is not the Philippine (or South Korea) but something along the lines of “a collective fear of the gradual loss of sovereignty to China”.  This is what Taiwanese might be worried about: “what if I also did something that somehow displeased Chinese government, would I also get send to China regardless of where I am?”  That is the tyranny of fear Ma puts Taiwan under, perhaps even more terrifying than the thousands missiles China placed across the strait.

DPP Has a Much Better Grasp About Foreign Relation

http://www.southnews.com.tw/videos/00/2011/02/0223_01_2.htm

Check out this clip and listen to the DPP legislator.  He has a much better grasp about the severity of the recent Taiwan-Philippine-China problem (much better insight than the KMT and pan blue media’s shallow emotional reaction).  As he pointed out, Ma is simply useless because he only complaints to Philippine but does not complaints to 陳雲林 and China, who is the one truly responsible.  Philippine is not a dumb ass.  It knows that Ma cannot offend China, so why should Philippine listen to Taiwan at all? 

For some reason, some people think that KMT and Ma is better at diplomatic relationship than DPP, but this incident clearly shows the opposite.  KMT and Ma really act like a bunch of idiots and whores in this one.  I think the primary reason why DPP had difficulty in diplomacy during the Chen administration, especially with the US, is because KMT still controls majority of diplomats.  The diplomats, instead of facilitating communication between Taiwan administration and the outside world, sabotaging communication and relationship.  This is very evident after the Chen administration, when these same diplomats (like the famous 郭 stationed in Toronto) start to show their true color by leaning toward China.

DPP needs to learn this lesson well.  The current ROC diplomats cannot be trusted fully.   Some counter measure and diplomats loyalty assessment is required.

The Cause of Taiwan’s Recent Predicament

Unlike what a lot of western media who choose to trust Chinese CCTV propaganda tried to portray, not everything is rosy between Taiwan and China, and for some in Taiwan, there are increasing evidence of impending storm on the horizon.  Things might not become worse, in fact, it might become better.  However, there are events happening at the same time that  really look quite peculiar, and really got me thinking:

China’s 遼寧 governor comes to Taiwan to lobby for more Taiwanese investment into China: 

The strange thing about this, as pointed out in the article, is that 1st, Taiwan really does not need more investment into China.  Common sense dictate that Taiwan already has huge investment in China and there is really no reason for more.  2ndly, as described in the article, at least one of the business man got hustled and lost about 100,000,000 NTD (about 3,300,000 USD), in which 遼寧 governor, 陳政高, is involved.  Obviously, this simple fact should be known by more people, and I am glad that TSU take the time to point this out.  On the bigger picture though, isn’t this quite ridiculous?  You have a Chinese officials with bad record, come to Taiwan to lobby during the time when Taiwan should not invest more into China.  TSU chairman said it very well…what exactly is the Ma government’s intention in facilitate this type of visit?

The Situation between Taiwan and Philippine: 

This is actually a quite interesting situation.

First of all, it reminds me of the fairy tale of the naked king and the boy who points it out.  In this case, Ma is the naked king, and Philippine is the smart boy.  When most of the Taiwanese choose to hide the heads in the sand, Philippine government does not give a shit, and uses Ma’s own agreement to “one China principle” against Ma himself.  Since Ma agree that Taiwan is part of China or “represent China” (whatever that means), Philippine did nothing wrong by sending those suspects to China, because they are “Chinese” by Ma’s own definition.  Of course, if you really look closely from a legal point of view, that does not make sense because they are in fact not Chinese citizens.  However, by Ma’s own logic, there is nothing wrong!  Therefore, Philippine of course does not need to apologize!

Looking from another perspective, however, one realize just how much trouble Taiwan is in because of Ma’s stupidity and China’s increasing assertiveness in Asia-Pacific.  It is obvious that Philippine was pressured by China into sending the suspects to China.  (Interestingly, there is news that some Filipino might get executed by China…which Philippine and China is still negotiating on it seems)  More and more, China is bullying its neighbours in every way possible.  Especially against Taiwan (which is kind of funny if you think about it…right after this incident, which clearly China is responsible, they have a huge group of people come to Taiwan to lobbying for investment.  How does that work?  Taiwan has sunk so low now that it looks like a whore).  China consistently uses its weaker neighbours such as ASEAN countries, South Korea and Japan to isolate and pressure Taiwan.  Hack, even the US and Canada is used by China from time to time.

So I think there are actually 2 things that Taiwan has to consider here.  First thing is, “dignity” does have a “worth.”  It is not worthless thing that you should just exchange for something else.  For some, “dignity” is even priceless.  Furthermore, without dignity, there is no reputation, no brand, which is bad for private enterprise and economies in the long-term.  Second thing is, more form of pact and alliance needs to be established between Taiwan and its neighbor.  Taiwan has long been ignorant of its southern neighbours especially.  It is time to form greater understanding and more collaboration with them.  It is the only way that smaller and weaker countries can gain more freedom of maneuvering in the face of stronger oppressor, by forms of alliance.  It does not mean formal alliance like NATO, because that is simply impossible given the current circumstances, but more loose and informal one could help as well.  Of course, conflicts of interest is unavoidable, but how one resolve them is more important.

Conclusion

It is quite interesting that Ma before the election portray an image that he and KMT are more “internationalized” and have more “international” view of the world.  I would say they have fooled many.  They promise to lead Taiwan further into the global society, but after 3 years, Ma and KMT “sinolize” Taiwan more instead of “internationalize” Taiwan more (a very good evidence of this is Ma government making old Chinese literature mandatory in high school curriculum).  The simple fact is, KMT and Ma’s thinking never changed for the past 40 years, except that their loyalties now lie with the CCP.  They just know how to package themselves to look modern and “internationalize.”  However, their policy, their interview, and their day-to-day action and talks simply reflect how old and how “Chinese” they are.  There is nothing wrong for them to choose to be that way, but the problem is, can Taiwanese see through the disguise and do Taiwanese want these type of people to continue their leadership?  That is the real unknown here.

Why Taiwan’s Video Game Industry Never Able to Take Off

Someone has notice the declining state of Taiwanese gaming industry in Liberty Times:  http://www.libertytimes.com.tw/2011/new/feb/20/today-o13.htm

And here are some observation and opinion in a pan-green forum:  http://www.news100.com.tw/viewtopic.php?t=19492

I am glad that some people have notice this and have similar opinion as mine.  Actually, I would say Taiwan’s game industry is not in a very good state for quite a long time, and with the recent decline (in general) of world wide video games sales, Taiwanese companies would perform worse as well, naturally.  Sure, MMO games have been made, but how much money they made?  How many people actually play them?  Comparing to the success from small iPhone games and blockbuster games like Starcraft 2, Mass Effect and Street Fighters, Taiwanese games are in a sorry state.  But they shouldn’t be.  Taiwan has a good pool of human resources in software, art, anime, music and film.  They might not be refined, but with the right polish and training, the result could be quite good.

So why can’t Taiwan game industry really make a big impact internationally?  Why is it after all this year, it is still struggling consistently in general?  I am no expert, but here is just some of my thoughts:

Focus on Narrow Topic/Market which It Has No Competitive Advantages

Like I mentioned before in my blog, Taiwanese video game companies focus too much on the Chinese fantasy stories.  Look at Japan, the US and others, they don’t just focus on one thing.  Japanese companies target western fantasy, anime, Japanese fantasy, sci-fi and others all at the same time.  The US has sci-fi, fantasy, historical, hollywood style games etc.  One UK company (Creative Assembly) is even making a quite authentic Japanese historical game: Shogun 2 – Total War.  Heck, even Chinese companies don’t make every game in Chinese fantasy.  The point is: don’t just look for inspiration in one place.  Taiwanese companies focus too much in one thing and they are running the water dry.  Taiwanese gamers are bored by them, and no one else cares about it.

There are a few attempts by a few companies to break out from it, but the commitments are not big and good enough.  Half-ass attempts cannot make it in any circumstances.  Given the recent success of Taiwanese movie industries’ focus on Taiwanese topics instead of trying to jump onto Chinese market (like what the gaming industries did), perhaps it is time game industries to reconsider.  (In fact, in that article, movie industries insiders point out that Chinese movie market is actually extremely hard to crack, would this also not be the case for the gaming industries?)

Wrong Direction of Expansion

The narrow-mindedness mentioned in the previous section naturally leads these companies into a completely wrong path.  These companies invested heavily into the Chinese market in two ways.  First, they tried to utilize the cheaper labour in China, and second, they try to enter the Chinese market.  They are all quite optimistic.  However, as incident such as the near fatal blow of 大宇 and huge loss of money of other companies after their venture into China can attest, they are too over optimistic.  A more careful consideration would have reveal the great risk behind:

China at first lacked human talents You need to invest significant resources in order to fill the pool first, and even then the quality of your games would be severely hindered.  Games made in China would have lower quality because lower experience overall, and games made in Taiwan would have lower quality because lack of funding and time (resource drained).  Furthermore, they do not have loyalties after you trained them (I don’t remember which companies, but there was one Taiwanese company that lost most of its talents who formed another company).

No Clear Advantage in Chinese Market –  Taiwanese companies should realize that they have no clear advantage in Chinese market.  Sony, Microsoft and others will try to dominate it.  And this Chinese fantasy games, can they compete with the Chinese fantasy games made by Chinese companies?  Not really, after China learned the technologies from foreign companies, it can make all the Chinese fantasy games it desires.  Can you compete with them on Chineseness?  Absolutely not.

Instead, probably what Taiwanese companies should have done a lot more and focused more on is joint venture and partnership with top developers and publishers in the US and Japan.  (As indicated by this interview, Japanese and the US companies invested in other developed countries in order to develop new technologies etc, where as Taiwanese companies focus very heavily in developing countries such as China only.  Perhaps it is time for Taiwanese video game industries to reconsider its overall strategy)  Learn from them and create something unique.  And don’t tell me Taiwan is too small to do that.  If BioWare, a Canadian (Canada pop. approximately 30,000,000, just a bit more than Taiwan) developer based in the middle of no-where, “man, that is cold” Alberta can make it to the big time, why can’t these Taiwanese companies?  This is really something to ponder on.

Hopefully though new generation of Taiwanese game developers can really develop something good and unique.  Develop some sci-fi games, instead of just Chinese fantasy.  Some RTS instead of just MMO.  Some RPG with mecha that uses 2237 AC Taiwan and Asia Pacific as the back drop.  Who knows.  Just give us something fresh that have good quality, and I am sure Taiwanese gamers and gamers from other countries will support them.

Help? Show Off? Or Just Create Chaos?

Recently Taiwanese media paid a lot of attention to 陳光標, a Chinese tycoon that come to Taiwan to “throw money around.”  I used the phrase “throw money around” instead of “donation,” because indeed, he is literally throwing money around instead of donating.

I have never seen anyone, west and east, who is so “flamboyant” when trying to help others (he even pile cash into a wall…now you don’t see people do that every day).  Especially in Taiwan, a lot of people prefer not to gain too much publicity when helping others.  There is a large amount of anonymous donation made in Taiwan every year.  (For example, 陳光標 plans to throw out 100 million NTD, which is actually quite small in comparison to Taiwan’s 6.8 billion NTD donation to Sichuan earth quake.)  In any case, the sum is not the real point.  Sure, some money will help people to get by for a few months…but then what?  They will face the same money problem.  Once again, social safety net, sincerity, kindness of the society, and government or NGO’s ability to help those to help themselves, are what really counts.  This whole thing is more like a fiasco and propaganda.

Let’s pull up stuff just for some interesting comparisons:

  • First, remember those car chase in movies…sometimes the one being chase just throw money and expensive stuff out of the car to create chaos on the road in order to delay the chasers.  Remember the movie Batman (the old one, not the new one), where Joker and his gang goes to downtown to throw money around during the New Year?  That is so similar to this situation.  Of course, 陳光標 is not releasing some physical poison gas…but, is he not releasing some psychological poison into Taiwanese society?  Just look at the madness and chaos that follows him.
  • Let’s look at what other NGOs are doing in Taiwan, and those other donors in Taiwan…and compare…don’t you find this really weird.  Why didn’t the media reports more on this?  Just because a guy is a lot more eager to show off? 
  • Finally let’s look at how the US helped Taiwanese during the 1950s when Taiwan was in real trouble…do they just throw money around and create chaos?  Or do they try to help Taiwan catching its own fish?

But in any case, perhaps the most important thing to remember is that all these are caused partially by the lousy job Ma is doing.  The weird, stupid and crazy phenomenon is a reflection of how much worse Taiwan has become after Ma become president.  (Man…if you look at the 18% interest shit and this…you really wonder, WTF is Ma thinking?)

UPDATE: A very good point brought out by this short article.