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Experiences of a Taiwanese businessman in China
Part 1: A lifetime of regret
Qingmu, The Epoch Times
Since 1990, trade between Taiwan and China has increased dramatically. The economic growth rate in China seems to be stunningly fast. Many Taiwanese continue to invest in China and even plan to immigrate to China.
I lived in Beijing and Shanghai for eight years. The media have high expectations of China’s economy and a lot of foreigners invest in China. Despite everyone’s positive attitudes towards the Chinese economy, I propose the following caveats: No matter how much the current economic environment in Taiwan fluctuates, it’s still far better than that in China and one must understand how dangerous the environment is when investing in China before one makes decisions. Never just do what everyone else is doing and rush into it, and never put everything you have in China.
I was in China investing in businesses and observing its environment in 1990. Though I had my personal driver like most Taiwanese businessmen, I often took the bus or subway as I knew that only by getting close to the local people could I really know what they think. When many so-called China experts or economists go to China to investigate, they only browse around and explore in a superficial way. They do not try to understand the society in depth and hence some of their reports are quite far from the real situation.
China arranges special agents to monitor all domestic and foreign media, and even penetrates the management of media companies to exert further control. One could be put on the Communist Party's blacklist for publishing opinions that are contrary to the Chinese government’s policies in the media or attending activities displeasing to the Chinese government. Thus, one's travel in and out of China is restricted or even prohibited.
Many Taiwanese businessmen, no matter how much they were mistreated in China, will not tell the media about their experiences. The Taiwanese businessmen are living under the Communist Party’s roof and are afraid of the consequences of telling it like it is; only a very few of the many Taiwanese businessmen who have lost a lot of money in China dare to disclose the reasons in the media.
To make matters worse, the most important job of the media in China is to serve as the mouthpiece of the government—not to report the facts. For instance, starting in the second half of 1999, the media were criticizing the “two Li’s” for causing troubles from inside and outside of China. The trouble from inside China was the founder of Falun Gong, Li Hongzhi, who led 100 million Chinese in self-improvement by following the principles of truthfulness, compassion and forbearance. The trouble from outside China was the former Taiwanese president, Li Denghui, who proposed that Taiwan and China are two countries. TV, radio, and newspapers kept attacking this view with similar reports. Any outsider would know the reports were biased after seeing or listening to them. However the reports confused many Chinese people. The government manipulated the media to provoke a twisted sense of nationalism and hatred, which indirectly deprived the people of freedom of thought.
After realizing the true attitude of the Chinese government towards the Taiwanese businessmen, I decided to end my business in China and go back to Taiwan. I also wished to share my experiences in China with people in Taiwan. While the CCP continues to threaten Taiwan with words and missiles, Taiwanese businessmen are being deceived, robbed, and victimized in China. I hope the Taiwanese expatriates will conduct more in-depth research before investing in China. They should carefully analyze the available information and think through the pros and cons before deciding to do business in China.
Here, I suggest to my friends, if you don’t have to go to China to do business, don’t go. Otherwise you will be proving the maxim, “Not going to China to do business will make you regret for the rest of your life; having gone to China will make you sorry for the rest of your life.”
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