Wednesday, March 19, 2008
China's stealing Taiwan's fruits of labor...literally
Today we visited National Chung Hsing University where we talked with a panel of professors. NCHU is one of Taiwan's top universities that focuses on agriculture and biotechnology among other disciplines. We learned from deputy head of agriculture and fishery Mr. Wu that when Taiwan began to collaborate with China in sharing agricultural technology, China ended up taking the information to make their own produce and now competes in Taiwan and in the world market. You can find Taiwan's seeds for plants and fruits in factories all across the major Chinese cities. They even put Taiwanese brand logos on their packaging as well as pretend to be Taiwanese grown fruit. Some of this fruit is even making its way back to Taiwan. China's cheap prices are competing internationally with Taiwan's goods. For example, organic corn from China will sell for $9 in Hong Kong whereas Taiwan's corn sells for $45, even though both corn was originally cultivated by Taiwanese people. The idea of a common market proposed by Ma Ying-jeou will be troubling to Taiwan's farming and fishery that is already suffering from major competition from the Chinese. Opening the doors to further Chinese influence and competition is something that Taiwan cannot afford to do.