Saturday, 19 September 2009

The Taiwan Timewarp

Having worked in mainland China for a firm that required me to keep at least one toe in Taiwan, I am used to contrasting one with the other, and almost always in a way favouring the free and democratic land of Taiwan. This time around, though, I cannot say that the comparison has been quite so favourable to the island across the straits. Going from the break-neck pace of development in Shenzhen to a place where in many areas both wages and prices seem to have been almost at a stand-still since 2001 was quite a surprise. Yes, a high-speed railway has been completed and green energy projects have been undertaken, but even accounting for the fact that Taiwan is an economically developed society in which much less needs doing, in comparison to the mainland Taiwan feels locked in a timewarp in which nothing changes - is this fair?

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