China’s banking sector, weighed down by billions of dollars in non-performing loans used to finance massive insfrastructure projects, is a time bomb whose impact on the economy as a whole can only be guessed at
It is clear that whoever hopes to win the presidential election next year will have to propose a sound strategy on how to deal with China: not just politically, but also economically.
The process of cross-strait economic liberalization launched in the 1980s and sustained even under the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party from 2000 until 2008, accelerated dramatically after President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) stepped into office on May 20, 2008. With the signing of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) in June last year and various other economic pacts in recent years, the dependence of Taiwan’s economy on China has grown by leaps and bounds.
Putting the political implications of those agreements aside, we will leave it to the history books to judge whether the decision to open the gates to Chinese money was economically sound for Taiwan. A growing number of economists are claiming that China’s economic miracle is heading full speed for a brick wall. Although such predictions have been made for more than a decade, there is evidence that this time the alarmists could be right.
My editorial, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.