TAIWANESE ARE MORE INTERESTED IN WORKING IN CHINA THAN IN PUSHING FOR REFORM AND INVESTMENT AT HOME IN TERMS OF POSITIVE DEVELOPMENTS
By Kevin Stoda, Taiwan
In lieu of staying at home and rebuilding poor housing infrastructure and improving vocational training, workplace problems, and the society, many Taiwanese have their sights on Mainland China as a workplace they would like to explore in the coming years.
According to the TAIWAN NEWS ( May 27, 20110 , in an article entitled ¡ §China becomes a hot destination for Taiwan ¡ ¦s workers: Poll ¡ ¨, 77 percent of Taiwanese employees are willing to explore further job opportunities on the mainland [People ¡ ¦s Republic or communist China]. ¡ ¨
On the one hand, the Taiwan News article continues, ¡ §statististics indicate that the annual salaries of 74.2 percent ofemployees are higher after they work in China.. ¡ ¨ In fact, ¡ §Their average annual income increases by NT$370,000 (US$12,758). ¡ ¨
NOTE: I wonder who undertook this unnamed poll because the article seems to be spun towards a PRO-unification and AT-ALL-COST friendly relations with China. The current majority party in Taiwan (Republic of China), the KMT, has historically been supportive of unification as soon as possible with the Mainland.
On the other hand, I would imagine that the averag employee who has worked abroad in any foreign country can demand more earnings in Taiwan these days.
Nonetheless, this unnamed poll states that 69.8% of the respondents are interested in looking for work in Shanghai while 34% desire to work in Beijing. Other regions of interest for work abroad by the majority of Taiwanese include Hong Kong, Ziamen, and Suzhou.
As for motiviation, the most common reason claimed for desiring to work in China is the character of the market place there,i.e. the responants understand the market there better than in any other foreign land. Nearly 64% of the respondants are of this perspective.
The second most common rationale (with 42 percent of respoondants of this view) for working in China believe that working in China would eventuallly benefit their work place experinces in Taiwan. Meanwhile, some 35% of those taking part in the survey indicate that ¡ §broading their horizons ¡ ¨ was also a good-enough-reason to go abroad to work.
Interestingly, I am hired currently to teach in 3 public schools in Taiwan. Moroever, one-third of the rationale for me ¡Xas a foreigner ¡Xbeing hired to work in these public institutions is to enable the Taiwanese students, teachers and society to be ¡ §more international ¡ ¨. This would be similar in the USA to the concept of trying to train our public school students to work cross-culturally (i.e. multicultural education).
Having taught in 10 countries already, I can help the Taiwanese be more internationally-functional. However, the hyperfocus of many Taiwanese on the Chinese market is likely to hurt the country in several ways.
On the one hand, several types of developments in Taiwan has been slowed down for the last decade, i.e. as local industries have been hollowed out and exported abroad ¡Xmostly to mainland China. I say hollowed out because the population of youth and adults have not been trained sufficiently to take on new jobs and to be creatively building the cities and towns where they live. For example, on the Matsu islands, where I live, there are no masons and constructive experts to update the aging homes and renovate the many homes ¡Xsome of which are still like rabbit hutches. In other words, with no good vocational programs and no local universities nor colleges, how can the community raise its sites.
In other words, parts of Taiwan are quaint and underdeveloped ¡Xlike one still might have seen in the USA and England in the 1950s or early 1960s. For this very reason, they are fairly safe, familial, and traditional. However, if the youth and parents of these rural and semi-urban communities only look to Taiwan ¡ ¦s largest cities and to mainland China for jobs, what kind of future will many communities in Taiwan have ¡Xonly hollowed out ones.