Being Taiwanese

Questions to Ponder:
1. Is it more important to focus on disadvantages/faults or advantages/talents?
2. Another way to say it: is it better to try to correct faults or try to develop talents?

3. Is the internet a resource? Or just a very good tool for instant communication?
4. Do you think languages are like keys to different stores of information? [e.g. if you can read Chinese, you can read Chinese philosophy, theories and research information, if you can read English, you can read English philosophy, theories, and research information]

Discussion Question:

How do you see yourself as a Taiwanese, globally?
Does this clip change your perception of Taiwan?

The Video:
Commonwealth Magazine (天下符) recorded a very interesting speech by Kenichi Omae. Here’s a short excerpt of it.


The Transcript:
In the wake of 三通*, I think Taiwan could seek to become a super Silicon Valley because you have been very successful in establishing research parks, but not only for Taiwan, but Super Silicon Valley for entire East Asia. Anybody who’s gone to business school has seen this smile curve. Taiwan EMS concentrated on this lowest profitable area and still able to make money. See, and then driving the Japanese, Europeans, Americans from the bottom of the smile curve. So we in Japan had to go upstream, this is the materials, machinery, etc.
I think Taiwan’s strength is, number one knowing Japanese psychology, speak the language, buying the best machines--components. And also Taiwan managers established long term relationship, human relationship, with Japanese companies. They also manage larger operations in mainland china in mother tongue with full of Taiwan experience in manufacturing and management. Sell products worldwide in the English language, maintain high level contact with global brand owners, in other words communication capability in English, Chinese, Japanese seem to be what is behind Taiwan’s enormous success to date.
All of the companies that have IPO in IT industries in the United States—number one is Israeli, number two is India and number three is Taiwan. And so you have tremendous number of talents given the size of your country, it is overrepresented in that region. Take advantage of that, become Super Silicon Valley, count this for your innovation and R&D, trading engineers and manufacturers from china which, 三通* can enable, will enable, manufacturing support for Asian countries. Not only for China but for the rest of the world. All countries are looking for industrial parks, or science parks, to attract companies and capital. You have a very successful example of industrial parks and R&D centers. You can export this concept. Taiwan’s great success in East Asia, this is tremendous. And also contribution to china’s success. Taiwanese people should be celebrating this, but China should be very much appreciative of this. China's own emergence of the super power of the 21st century: Taiwan is lucky because you are the best beneficiary. You take advantage of this upward migration of china—no other country can do better than Taiwan can.

*'san tong' = 'the three links' = the direct communication and transport links that will soon be established between Taiwan and China

An Observation:
A friend said, when discussing this clip:
We have to compete with others with our advantages, not our disadvantages! But our education (in Taiwan) only focuses us on our disadvantages.

A Further Note:
In another section of his speech, I’m told, the speaker noted that the internet is an enormous influencing factor on the world today, and that most of the information on the internet is written in English. He said that only 1% or so of the internet is in Japanese, and this leaves Japan at a serious disadvantage in finding out new information.

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