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Jan 8, 2009

----- Ma and Siew

Taiwan has a tradition of selling memorial liquor bottles when elections roll around; this time, the Ma ticket's bottles were in part shipped to China for sale there. Except the word "president" was removed from them. Nice.


Valerio said...

I personally see nothing wrong in this action by the distillery, their aim is to make profit and please their customers. And by differenciating thier products in different markets is something corporations do all the time.

Market economics will sort the rest out, should Taiwanese people not condone the distillery's actions, they could protest by boycotting and allow the company to reassess the gains and losses.

This report just goes to show how much people still cling onto the idea of face and titles, while disregarding the fact that in China the revenues are 7 times higher - which should have been the headline - encouraging sellers to grasp the opportunity.

Tommy said...

And I personally think that Valerio has missed the point entirely.

If One China, Different Interpretations holds water, why should the bottles need to be changed? Are you really saying, Valerio, that when such a key plank of Ma's platform can't even be maintained on commemorative liquor bottles that Taiwanese should not question the ability of that plank to hold water in more important situations?

阿牛 said...

I'm leaning toward Valerio's feelings that the company is just out to make money, which is fine.

I also tend to think that for the Taiwanese seller, this is a market issue and not a political issue.

But clearly, he knew the only way he could sell it in China was to remove "President," and not because the Chinese public would demand that -- but because the CCP would.

That's not just market economics, that's political interference.

Though this doesn't register very high on the "important events" scale.

Valerio said...

Dear Thomas,

I understand what you are saying - basically should negotiations commence between Taiwan and China, that Taiwan won't be able to talk with the Chinese leaders on the same level. This is indeed something to worry about.

However, that is politics, and the issue in the news should have been economics. It wasn't the Taiwan gov who told the company to take the writing off.

Your argument is under the assumption that the government has the same aims as the businessmen, which I don't agree with.

Haitien said...


The fact that the businessman feels the need to remove any and all state references from something as trivial as a liquor bottle just to sell it in the PRC, suggests that Beijing does not recognize the principles of "mutual nondenial", and "One China Differing Interpretations" that the Ma administration claims to base all their agreements with the PRC on. This isn't isolated to just liquor bottles, but also extends to actions on the diplomatic, and international stage.

Now maybe one could argue that that is the cost of doing business in the PRC, but then that calls into question why the government is intentionally ignoring this, and trying to claim that Beijing subscribes to "Mutual Nondenial", when it clearly does not.