EASTERN ASIA: Australia and Taiwan's special relationship
Australia - Taiwan Relations. Doing business with Australia The Australian and New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Taipei (ANZCham) runs regular. Compared to its relations with the People's Republic of China (PRC), Australia's relations with Taiwan are often underrated. As a substantial trading partner and. It's usually in the shadow of regional power China, but Australians would do well to remember the benefits of a strong relationship with Taiwan.
Australia has about the same population as Taiwan, which has some 23 million people. Like Taiwan, Australia is a major trading nation. Australia's traditional exports of primary products are now being joined by high-tech and elaborately transformed manufactures, such as the world-famous cochlear bionic ear.
Australia-Taiwan relationship - Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
The role Taiwan played in the Australian market a generation ago has been supplanted by China, which now supplies Australia - as it does much of the world - with the consumer products, clothing, textiles and gadgets that Taiwan once provided.
This leads to an interesting observation - that Taiwan and Australia are in similar economic circumstances.
Globalisation is the force that is remaking economies around the world. Taiwan is no longer a poor country. Young people have no aspirations to work in sweatshop industries like garment-making.
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Manufacturing, construction and any sort of dirty, dangerous and boring work is left to "guest workers". Some 80 per cent of high-school graduates will go on to higher education.
Industries like clothing and footwear have long departed to China, Vietnam and other less well-off countries, although the textile-making industry, while lacking much official encouragement, has gone upmarket and continues to prosper.
Somewhat ironically, the first anti-dumping action taken by Taiwan against China in the World Trade Organization was over imports of towels - just the sort of thing that Taiwan used to say was "interference with trade" when Australian manufacturers made similar claims.
Key imports include telecommunication equipment and parts, computers, motorcycles and bicycles. Australia's prominence in the supply of resources and primary products to Taiwan, and the significant value of Taiwan's high-technology exports to Australia, underpin the complementary nature of the trading relationship between the two economies.
Taiwan is a major tourism and education market for Australia, and Taiwan and Australia have a popular mutual working holiday maker arrangement. Two-way foreign investment is showing signs of growth, albeit from a low base. Australia holds annual Bilateral Economic Consultations with Taiwan. The government-led consultations cover a wide range of issues, including market access, investment and agriculture.
Arrangements with Taiwan to facilitate trade cover issues such as quarantine and double taxation. Domestic Political Overview System of Government Since the end of martial law inTaiwan has transformed itself into a vibrant democracy. Presidents and members of the Legislative Yuan are elected for terms of four years; presidents are limited to a maximum of two terms. The President, as Head of State, has command of the armed forces and the authority to promulgate laws under the Constitution of the Republic of China.
Its members are presidential appointees rather than elected representatives. Currently, there are 12 ministries and 20 other agencies under the Executive Yuan. It comprises legislators from a mixture of single-member electorates and proportional representation seats.
It also has the power to impeach the president or vice president. Political Parties There are two main political parties in Taiwan.
The KMT generally supports a conservative free-market agenda, although it maintains support for some state intervention in important sectors of the economy through a number of large state-owned enterprises that had been established under its leadership. The DPP held power from to under President Chen Shui-bian, whose leanings towards independence heightened tensions with China.
Negotiation of a trade in services agreement proved controversial, with many, particularly younger, voters apprehensive that Taiwan was becoming too economically dependent on the mainland.
In Marchstudents and NGOs led large street demonstrations, dubbed the Sunflower Movement, and occupied the chamber of the Legislative Yuan for 23 days. The social activism inspired by the Sunflower Movement led to the establishment of a number of new political parties, such as the New Power Party.
DFAT Due to its increasingly close economic ties with China, Taiwan can serve as a launch pad for businesses to gain a foothold in the Chinese market.
Taiwan has also been able to preserve much of its history and is now a bastion of Chinese culture and history. As Asia becomes more and more important — and China in particular — it will be increasingly important to understand the cultural and historical paradigms shaping these societies.
While Australia is already a large destination for Taiwanese students, Taiwan is still much overlooked by Australian students. Yet the Taiwanese government offers generous scholarships to Australians via its Huayu Scholarship program to learn Chinese and get to know Taiwan.
The Chinese elephant in the room If Taiwan is overlooked economically, then perhaps it is best known for its fragile political relationship with China.
Following the lifting of martial law inTaiwan made a transition from authoritarian rule to democratic rule, with direct Presidential elections held for the first time in Relations across the strait have never been better since Taiwan and China split in