Balancing Politics with Business

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Tigers and Sea Turtles
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Do they have to silence themselves on human rights questions? I don't think that's necessarily the case.

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<p>Well, Taiwan's opening up to China in the late 80's coincided with a period of Chinese opening up and a policy of engaging with the rest of the world economically. So, the Taiwanese business people who went into China early on were certainly in a position of comparative advantage. In a sense that they spoke the language, a common language, and they had a slightly better understanding of the Chinese culture than perhaps other western competitors, businesses wanting to go into China. So, within just a few short years of opening up, Taiwan eventually grew to become one of the largest foreign investors in China. The economic relationship has certainly enhanced mutual understanding but, at the same time, the irony is that the Taiwanese identity has also strengthened during that period. So, there are more people in Taiwan who are advocating that it is possible not to compromise politically for the sake of economic engagement with China. And this is a policy decision that many countries around the world have to make when they want to do investments in China and they want to do business with the Chinese. Do they have to concede on certain political positions? Do they have to silence themselves on human rights questions? I don't think that's necessarily the case. And the Taiwanese need to become much more skillful at positioning ourselves as well.</p>
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Hsiao Bi-khim explains how just following the reform, Taiwanese investors were at a competitive advantage and, as such, the Taiwanese became some of the biggest investors in Mainland China. Now, they face the dilemma of positioning themselves in a non-compromising political position while maintaining a healthy business relationship with China.