Search This Blog

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Where is your heart at?

As 2009 is drawing near the end, this is a good question to ask ourselves and our leader in time of Taiwan's difficulties such as this year's natural disaster.

I did contribute my share to help the typhoon Moracot rescue and reconstruction effort and had confidence that it had been put to good use where it was needed the most.

The following links have some interesting lists / spreadsheets which compare the donations of corporations, politicians, and entertainers / celebrities:

The Taipei Times had gathered the Moracot donations information from Taiwanese businesses and public figures as early as August 12, 2009.

The Stocks and Politics blog posted a summary as of August 13, 2009 and concluded that the DPP politicians had donated USD $1,036,000 vs. KMT politicians $136,000.

This Google document (written in Chinese-language and the currency used the New Taiwan Dollars) compared the donations as of August 22, 2009 between the amount given to China's 2008 Sichuan earthquake and the amount given to Taiwan's 2009 Morakot typhoon by Taiwan's business entity or public figure. It is the most extensive list that I could find so far.

From the above Google document, Ma Ying-jeou did not make any announcement of his personal donations (if any) to the Morakot typhoon but he did make announcement about his personal donation to the Shichuan earthquake.

I also failed to find any donations to Morakot typhoon by Ma using English-language internet search but I did find his donations to China's earthquake (considering Ma prefers to speak English for publicity).

The Singapore Red Cross Society reported on the fifth paragraph of the immediate above link that :
Taiwan, which China regards as a renegade province, said it would join the rescue effort, while its president-elect Ma Ying-jeou, who has moved to repair ties with China, donated 200,000 Taiwan dollars (6,500 US) from his own pocket.
The other pan-blue politicians who have donated to the Shichuan earthquake but not to the Morakot typhoon per the above Google document include some very prominent figures (but if you have subsequently made donations after the publication of the above Google Doc, you could write to them to update their records plus also leave your comment below this post for correction):

Vice president Vincent Siew ( 蕭萬長) 150,000 NTD vs. 0

James Soong ( 宋楚瑜) 1 million NTD vs.0

Other noticeable observation is that former KMT chairman Wu Po-hsiung ( 吳伯雄) donated 5 times more to China than to Taiwan.

In order not to make this post extensive, I will not make any notes on donations by the business community, the readers are encouraged to consult the above lists / documents when they consider their business engagement such as supporting / purchasing certain products.

Taiwan's donations to China per the Xinhua News:
Among all these relief efforts, the assistance coming from Taiwan has reportedly topped that of any other nation in the world. Just days after the quake, the Republic of China (ROC) government proposed a NT$2 billion (US$67 million) aid package for mainland China, including NT$700 million (US$23 million) in cash made immediately available and NT$100 million (US$3 million) in relief supplies including 2,000 tons of rice. The remaining NT$1.2 billion (US$40 million) was earmarked for post-quake reconstruction projects to be funded from public donations.
By late May, cash donations from the ROC government, enterprises, organizations and individuals had already reached more than RMB780 million (US$113 million), according to news releases from the mainland China's State Council. Of the top five cash donors among multinationals, four were Taiwanese enterprises, including Formosa Plastics Group, Evergreen Group, Foxconn Technology Group and RT-Mart International Ltd.
China's donations to Taiwan per Taipei Times News:
ARATS said it received NT$450 million (US$13 million) in donations from people in China, adding it had given NT$150 million to the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) and would wire the remaining NT$300 million next week.
Where did the donations to China go to?

I don't know, but these two links, although talking about China's domestic donations, may give us some hint:

I believe wherever our hearts belong, so too will our donations go to.


Άλισον said...

The former premier Liu Chao-shiuan, joining the other 54 people, had been appointed by Ma Ying-jeou to be the newest member of the presidential advisors WITHOUT PROFOLIO, what a nice Christmas gift!

If these 55 presidential advisors without profolio would donate their remunerations to help relieve the needs of the Moracot typhoon victims, the holiday season would have been "warmer" for these people who lost their homes and relatives in August.

Anonymous said...

Your blog is a good source for outsiders to learn more about how Taiwanese people view their country. I'm wondering if you - and others who blog from or about Taiwan could also discuss what the outside world can do for Taiwan, with tangible - and feasible - policies.

I can understand that the government's efforts to reach better relations with China are viewed with suspicion. At the same time, I don't think that there is much of a choice. For example, without an agreement with Beijing, it would be impossible to have a free-trade agreement with ASEAN countries, because they won't conclude a treaty with Taiwan without Beijing's consent. (That said, one can certainly question if ECFA is beneficial for Taiwan in detail).

What can countries do for Taiwan which are ready to help guarantee its sovereignty (so far, I'd say the most likely country for that is still America)? What can countries do which are prepared to do business with Taiwan and conclude according treaties, but which are or may not be ready to be dragged into a - possible - war with China? What can countries still do if they are basically ready to give in to Beijing's policies of blackmail (in the way the ASEAN countries are giving in)?

And what can - and should - Taiwan do? Should they see a referendum through, to understand the will of the people, concerning independence?

It could at times be an uneasy discussion. But a lively one, too. Which price should Taiwanese people - and foreigners - be ready to pay to preserve Taiwan's sovereignty?

Richard said...

justrecently -
If you're in the U.S. (as I am), the best thing to do is to be proactive in writing/e-mailing your local representatives and congressmen/woman for your states when it comes to U.S. legislation on issues regarding Taiwan. Without the support for Taiwan from the congress, there is little the U.S. can do to help Taiwan- as history has shown, the executive branch may feel like caving into China's will, but the U.S. congress has come to Taiwan's help over and over.

A good place to get more information on US-Taiwan efforts is at

Άλισον said...

Richard, I believe that justrecently is a German expat living and teaching in China.

BTW, Google's recent announcement is a welcoming move for other corporations to consider how they should deal with China.

Although many companies are willing to bent business ethics and follow China's rules, in the long run, it will not be beneficial for the whole world if China is left to bully around and engage in cyber crimes, etc.

Eventually, China has to decide if it wants to connect to the world or it simply wants to remain a "middle kingdom" isolated on its own.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the advice, Richard! Actually, your first assumption is correct, Άλισον. I'm German, but I live and work in Germany. I did work in China for a number of years for the past, liked it there, but I believe that the business opportunities that China (potentially) offers shouldn't blind us for the political downside of our relations with China (unless we have a good policy of our own).

Post a Comment