Former Vice President Vincent Siew recently identified some of the challenges facing Taiwan today.
According to Siew, economic changes in China are causing increasing uncertainty about Taiwan's future, while South Korea's rising competitiveness is squeezing Taiwan. In addition, Taiwan has been trapped in unnecessary infighting due to partisan struggles, the government's lack of a sense of crisis and its slow response.
Indeed, the government's misplaced priorities have left the country grounded.
At a time when the sluggish European and U.S. markets are dragging down Taiwan's exports, the government has not focused its efforts on boosting the economy but instead has been working on taxing stock gains, raising fuel prices and electricity rates, and lifting its ban on ractopamine-tainted U.S. beef.
These so-called "fair and just" policies, however, have not benefited the poor. They have only drawn a backlash from the affected people.
Such a situation gave the opposition parties an excuse to boycott the legislative session, and the government is now unable to move forward with its policy.
Taiwan cannot afford to wait any longer. The government must identify its priorities, understand people's expectations, and seize the opportunity for national development in order to reactivate Taiwan. (Editorial abstract -- June 27, 2012)
(By Y.F. Low)