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March 18, 2014



The Blue/Green conflict isn't so much a purely civic conflict (although it is that) as also a conflict between people who hold essentially the basis of the modern Taiwanese economy (pre-1949 foreign reserves, US aid, technical know-how, governance capital, all on the basis of Taiwan qua anti-communist China rather than Taiwan qua Taiwan) and people who want very much to preserve that against future encroachments. Hence, Taiwanese nationhood to make all that cohere. And most of the people stuck in the middle trying to figure out if they're better off getting unilateral independence now whatever the risks or if that's a bridge too far.

The corollary is that one shouldn't expect that Taiwan will continue to be quite as successful an export-based economy if it somehow actually achieves independence. Given that the Green camp is partially a legal and welfare-enhancing (at the moment) extortion racket on the export economy in favour of other Taiwanese, brain drain and capital flight would be both pretty big and pretty standard. The right analogue is probably Quebec not Ukraine.

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