Hsinchu: America the Beautiful

So, shall we begin discussion?

I choose team e. I will say, the answer is yes or no, but not always. We have talk about the trading system. I would say, the relationship between Taiwan and America is like a trading system. We try to find some mutual benefit. So I would say the relationship is based on what is our mutual benefit. So according to this point of view, yes, they’re are friend if w have the same benefits. So for the economic affair, yes we have the same goal or industry, like the electronics industry. The market in both places have the same benefit. So in this case, they’re a good friend. But for military and the foreign affair, no they’re not good friend. So the answer is yes and no, but not always, it depends on the benefits. If there’re no benefits, there’s no friend. It’s very realistic.


Well, I’m more with team b. for me. A true friend would stand by you no matter what the situation would be. You’ll always be there. So from this point of view, I don’t think there’s a true friendship between countries, there’s always a matter of interest. Maybe sometimes we can be friends, but its always quite superficial.

So you are more humanist, you always think the friendship is always kept. So if I’m you’re friend, I have to keep my loyalty to you!

Well, that’s my idea!—

[laughter]

—but I don’t always expect so.

So that’s why I say my ideas are realistic. Because the two countries are concerned abut their own benefit, or for their citizens. So you don’t think about what is your benefit to your people.

So two people, you can talk about friendships. But countries, represent a lot of people and the people in charge get changed, so we don’t call any country is the friend of any country. Not talking just about America and Taiwan, it applies to all countries. Because it depends on the people who govern, who have the most power, who can decide, who represent the country and have the so called friendship. So you have to consider the interests of your countries. So if you have something in common with your so called friend, sure, but if you have the opposite, then you have the enemies, and the enemies, enemy is my friend, because that helps me get what I want.

So we are the same team.

Yes.

And we are against you.

Oh shit! You can’t get any more in your face than that!!

You know, there is an interesting opinion in the Taipei class transcript. It says Taiwanese lose their identity. It says that Taiwan has no relationship with other countries. They’re more pessimistic.

They’re younger.

But I agree, because Taiwan is not recognized by other countries, but according to my experience, but I would say that it’s more recognized as an economic identity.

Yeah, ‘Made in Taiwan’ was a successful marketing campaign

But I agree if the country has the power to bargain with other countries it’s not good.

Not having the power to bargain is good?

I’m talking about that economic power is the realistic power, but cultural power is soft power.

But political power is military power, that’s not soft. And WHO, and information, that’s not really soft anymore, that’s hard.

But that’s why America got Taiwan into WHO you can get information as an observer.

Hey, no, not that much actually. I’m told the Taiwan delegation can only get into the main events, but there are a lot of closed-door events that they’re shut out of. And it’s like high-school. Certain people are afraid to talk to our people in the halls if certain other people are present.

I belong to an industrial organization, and we do distinguish between observer members and principal members. As an observer, you can collect information and give information to other members. You can give any opinion, but you need to get some approval. You need some approval.

Yeah, so you’re talking that you need patrons. It’s a hierarchical system, then. Not democratic or open.

So part of my job is to talk to members of what information we can contribute to the meeting.

You have to lobby first!

Who’s controlling the information and to what purpose, that’s the question you have to ask as an outside observer!

But this is an industrial organization, not a political one.

Actually, there’s no difference. They’re both political.

When I look at the article, I agree that the media power is very important, and when you want to turn America into our friend, yeah? I think that maybe, this is maybe a crazy idea, we could get that famous director, Ang Lee, I think that most Americans are not deep thinkers, most people actually, they’re most easily moved by easy story, and simply right and wrong, and simply have the emotions. If we can leverage the, because Ang Lee is the first, I mean that he can enter the American mega…his movies are well received.

He’s an insider in the movie industry.

Yes, I imagine he could take this advantage. But it’s just simply to influence some Americans to think about the relationship. But now of course, he’s not political.

Probably his insider status depends on that…

So your point is…

Well, it’s just a crazy idea, it’s a way of influencing what people think.

So let me interpret it as the one who can control the media can own the power to control the society.

Yep it’s true.

Yep.

But you know the tycoon, that want to acquire the New York Times, he also wanted to buy Bloomberg

Who was that?

Those are major American properties, it’s like Lenovo getting IBM and all the American military secrets.

So yeah, it’s like Lenovo is the new evil empire.

So talking about that they said that Americans are not getting good education. We can talk about Taiwanese, well, Americans watch more and more TV, but also us, and read less and les books. Because we watch TV, and get the information very straightforward.

But it’s a controlled information.

Yes. And so we don’t do much thinking about what’s behind the information. And so we are too lazy.

And so that’s why the democracy is dangerous.

So yeah, that’s why Thomas Jefferson and them decided to make the electoral college..

I think America is nobody’s friends.

I think that’s true right now!

Especially European counties, they contribute a lot in the climate change issue, but only America and China refused to sign the Kyoto agreement. Of course you can understand why China wouldn’t sign, since they want to focus on economic issues, but of all those developed countries only America didn’t.

Of all the G8 countries.

But it’s not to do just with G7, because there was like milestones you have to decrease in how many years, you have to contribute it. At first Europe developed a system of carbon credits, but in the US, it’s easy, so they just buy the quota.

I heard President Bush said America would sign in 2012.

Yeah, cuz he won’t be president then.

If I remember right, it was in the last g7 meeting.

What’s the difference between g7 and g8, anyone know?

It means seven or eight countries.

Who do what?

They’re the developed countries. The US, Canada, France, GB, Germany, Italy, Japan,

[a Google search was then made, and it was found to be: G8 = Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States. Group of Seven Finance Ministers, not heads of state: = Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom, and United States of America.]

So these are like friendship cliques. It’s like high school, again!

[laughter]

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