北京專權 窒息創新 前景看衰?

accessed June 1, 2018

名人堂的耕耘

 

花了兩天看資料,手寫9頁筆記,埋首筆電三天斟酌1,100字,於61日交稿,62日交修正稿,65日刊出。

卅多年前國外念博士時,教授說到「八十/二十」的原則。收尋到有關資料中,可用到寫出來的只有20%。其他80%無法在文字中呈現,但有助研究者了解大圖像,存入背景資料庫。

如今更覺自己不足,「八十/二十」的原則演化成「九十五/零五」的原則。

 

敬請賜教

林中斌 2018.6.5

 

北京專權 窒息創新 前景看衰?

林中斌

名人堂稿件

日期:20180601 本文字數: 1100 目標字數:1100

 

四月,美國總統川普制裁「中興通訊」。斷料、停工,在一月中它損失三億多美金,此錢可買三架先進蘇-35 戰機。

世界第二大經濟體中國,竟然不堪一擊原因顯然是:缺乏創新。

連帶論述是:北京限制自由,封閉資訊,窒息創新,抄襲甚至偷竊先進技術。無怪乎,中國成長已減緩,資金外逃,國債高築,前景看衰。

實際清況呢?

今年四月,中國科學家潘健偉被《時代》雜誌選入一八年世界百大人物,因為他領軍研發量子通訊在一六年「墨子號」衛星升空後已取得全球領先地位。而量子通訊可保密,有潛力打破美國以互聯網主導全球通訊的優勢。

根據去年十一月十六日Defense News報導,Google 母公司Alphabet總裁也是五角大廈「國防創新委員會」主席Eric Schmidt說:「到二廿年,中國將趕上美國。廿五年,他們將超越我們。卅年,他們將主宰AI。」

同月,每年兩次的「全球超級電腦五百強」TOP500比賽發佈排名。中國的「太湖之光」連續兩年四次居榜首,「天河二號」為亞軍,瑞士第三,日本第四,美國Titan第五。Titan速度僅為「太湖之光」的五分之一,曾攬冠軍多年直至一三年六月被「天河」取代。之後,「天河」連續六次盤居霸位。但它晶片購自美國英特爾,一五年受美國以國安理由鉗制。於是逼迫中國造出核心及晶片皆自製的「太湖之光」,一鳴驚人雄佔鰲頭。回顧八年時,中國尚無法擠入前一百名。九年來進步,何人料到?

「中興通訊」當年急於攻佔市場,懶於研發晶片。如今遭此挫敗,焉知非福?

其實,類似制裁「中興通訊」對中國經濟衝擊已不如前。中國七年對美國出口占中國那年GDP高達九點一趴;而一七年只占三點九趴,下降至約四成。十年以來,向美出口對中國經濟成長的重要性已大幅減低。

去年七月, IMF三度向上修改中國GDP 成長至六點七趴。根據的是:一六年起出口增加、人民幣強勢、股票市場上揚、外匯存底回升至三兆美元以上。今年一月北京公佈一七年GDP 成長為六點九趴,更勝於IMF預估,為七年來首度回升。

根據今年四月廿一日Economist分析,中國經濟比一五年大為改善,因為政府已開始正面迎戰根深蒂固的結構問題。於是,國債佔GDP的比率已穩定。資金外逃已受嚴控。人民收入成長已高於GDP成長。國家經濟漸趨成熟,服務業從廿年前佔GDP三成上升至一半。大投資項目如高速鐵路已開始賺錢。地方債務幾乎都花在橋梁、公路等基本建設而非空屋住宅。

今年三月廿八日《紐約時報》登載歐巴馬總統財政部顧問Steve Rattner評論:「過去四年,中國減少了三十二趴某種空汙微粒。同樣的成就,美國在一九七年通過Clean Air Act法案之後花費十二年才做到。北京治理模式在最短時間內把最多的人民拔離貧窮。人類歷史從未得有。」

「歐亞集團」總裁Ian Bremmer在去年十一月十三日《時代》雜誌發表專文「北京國家主導經濟體未來將勝出」說:「中國,非美國,是全球經濟最強的角色」。

 

作者為前華府喬治大學外交學院講座教授,曾任國防部副部長

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林中斌/報導者訪問

accessed May 17, 2016

剛翻出兩年前的訪問。

"...兩岸穩定的關鍵又繫於蔡英文的執政和治理能力。

若蔡英文的執政治理能力強,...民調維持高支持度,那麼內部深綠對蔡中間路線的反對和不安就不會輕易傾瀉而出...否則蔡將重蹈覆轍走上阿扁之路。"

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北京對台施壓極大化至何時?

June 8, 2018

 

●目前北京對台擴大操之在他的惠台措施,同時持續多做少說的心理施壓極大化。

●北京十九大後強化軟硬兩手策略,而不擔心失去台灣民心比爭取台灣民心更多。為何?

●北京考量是:希望在今年年底台灣縣市長選舉產生他樂見的效果,促使執政黨調整目前的兩岸政策。

●北京根據是:台灣民意對統獨、族群認同、跨海工作求學意願、對習近平好感度等已表現出有利北京的趨勢變化。變化夠多嗎?尚未。但其反轉數十年來趨勢的走向已浮出。

●北京的資料來自台灣公開的民調、北京暗中委託台灣機構所做的台灣民調、也可能包括廈門大學台研院以閩南語所做的民調。

●但是,年底選舉結果不見得對執政黨產生強達臨界點的衝擊。雖然執政者支持度下滑,但執政黨的對手仍然不夠強。

●另一項促使執政黨調整兩岸政策的可能是年底選舉前美、日對台支持發生足夠的、或關鍵性的變化。這項可能,在長遠的未來不能排除,但目前仍看不出來。

●無論如何,北京在年底台灣選舉後應會整體評估目前對台全面施壓的戰術。

●換言之,北京對台持續心理施壓極大化至少持續到年底選舉。

以上淺見,敬請賜教

林中斌 2018.6.8

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Katie Hunt, “China's ramping up pressure on Taiwan”

CNN May 29, 2018

 

●這報導中所引用在下淺見是根據昨天早上CNN記者電話的訪問。

●記者問的很詳細,寫的很謹慎。沒有加油添醬,沒有斷章取義。

●中斌回國廿三年,幾乎已忘卻之前在國外所習慣的記者訪問風格。

敬請賜教

林中斌 2018.5.29

Chong-Pin Lin, a former deputy defense minister in Taiwan, said he believes reunification is still a long-term goal for Xi. For now, he says, Beijing is focused on deterring Taiwan from making a declaration of independence -- something that would be a huge embarrassment for Xi.

"Beijing is skillful at applying psychological pressure on Taiwan," he says.

 

Although Tsai has been "very prudent" since being elected in 2016 and tried to restrain the more radical wing of her party, says Lin, Beijing may feel that she will look to appeal to her base as mid-term elections near.

 

However, in Taiwan, some analysts fear that an erratic and unpredictable President Trump may use Taiwan as a bargaining chip to extract concessions in his dealings with China on North Korea or trade.

"Taiwan-US relations are pretty good right now, but we don't know what the future holds," said Lin.

 

CNN專文 中國升高對台灣施壓

中央廣播電台

黃啟霖

2018529 下午5:47

美國有線電視新聞網(CNN)今天(29)以「中國升高對台施壓(China's ramping up pressure on Taiwan)」為題,大篇幅報導北京正意圖加速孤立台灣,在過去一個月中,讓台灣數量已不多的邦交國再少掉兩國。

 

報導指出,台灣不僅在外交上受到中國打壓,跨國公司要如何稱呼台灣也承受中國的壓力。此外,中國軍方在台灣海峽大秀肌肉的情形也日漸普遍。

 

報導指出,中國和擁有民主制度、自己治理的台灣之間升高緊張,為華府在處理與北京關係時,增加了另一項隱憂,因為美國總統川普(Donald Trump)的政府已和中國在貿易、北韓以及南海問題上意見不合。

 

CNN指出,華府則對台灣表達更密切的支持,並將在6月間,美國事實上的駐台大使館落成之際,高調展現與台灣站在一起。

 

美國的新大使館是原來使館的3倍大。

 

◎中國如何持續對台施壓

 

多年來,北京一步步的縮減台灣有限的外交盟邦,但在一個月內先後挖走多明尼加共和國和布吉納法索,仍然是前所未見。

 

台灣指控北京施展「金錢外交」,也就是以金錢誘使友邦改投中國懷抱的策略。對越來越富裕、口袋越來越深的中國而言,此種戰略變得更為容易。

 

中國民用航空局最近警告44家外國航空公司,要在30日內將官網上的台灣標示列為中國領土。凡是未配合變更的公司,都受到北京的注意。但美國在55日直言批評,中國此舉為「歐威爾式的胡言亂語」(Orwellian nonsense)

 

不僅如此,日本知名連鎖零售商無印良品(Muji)在上海的分店,就因為把產品的產地標示為台灣,而遭到中國罰款。

 

此外,報導還指出,中國也連續第二年不讓台灣參加世界衛生組織(WHO)的年會,即使以觀察員資格出席都不允許,使得台灣2,300萬人被排除在全球防疫體系之外,無法取得有助於全球疾病疫情的相關訊息。

 

◎中國的目的

 

CNN指出,中國和台灣儘管有共同的文化,並同樣以中文為官方語言,但從1949年至今雙方一直處於分治狀態。

 

把台灣拉回中國,是過去70年來,中國統治者無法達成的夢想,如果習近平能夠做到,將成為他的巨大成就,而習近平現在有可能終身統治。

 

CNN引述台灣前國防部副部長林中斌表示,他相信,統一依然是習近平的長期目標;而現在,北京的注意力集中在嚇阻台灣不要宣布獨立,否則將令習近平非常難堪。

 

林中斌表示,北京很擅於對台灣施加心理壓力。

 

CNN指出,現任總統蔡英文所屬的民進黨,傳統上傾向支持正式獨立。而儘管蔡英文在2016年當選總統後一直非常謹慎,極力限制民進黨內的激進派系,但林中斌表示,北京或許覺得,蔡英文只是為了今年的期中選舉考慮。

 

不過,北京不是只有棒子,也有胡蘿蔔。今年2月,北京發布31項對台措施,讓台灣人更方便到中國大陸工作、做生意和讀書,其中包括老師和醫生。

 

◎美國的角色

 

CNN指出,台灣與美國的關係儘管屬非官方性質,但雙方關係顯然穩固。美國依據台灣關係法提供防衛武器。

 

美國國會不理會來自中國的壓力,通過台灣旅行法,並在3月間由川普簽署成為法律。這項法律的目的,在讓美國官員更方便訪台,也方便台灣官員訪問美國。

 

此外,共和黨聯邦參議員賈德納(Cory Gardner),以及和民主黨聯邦參議員馬基(Edward Markey),在25日共同提出跨黨派的「2018台灣國際參與法案」(TIPA),以確保台灣在國際舞台的空間,不會遭到進一步限縮。

 

這兩位參議員說:「這項跨黨派法案將協助確保主要國際組織,不會因為中國施展霸凌手段,就對我們的盟友台灣視而不見。」

 

不過,台灣部份分析家擔心,川普不穩定又難以預測,可能會利用台灣,作為與中國處理北韓和貿易問題時,迫使中國讓步的籌碼。

 

林中斌表示:「台美關係目前相當好,但我們不知道未來的情況會如何。」

 

China's ramping up pressure on Taiwan

 

Hong Kong (CNN) - Beijing's push to isolate Taiwan is gathering pace, with two of the island's few remaining allies switching allegiance to China in the past month.

Taiwan isn't just taking heat from China diplomatically. Multi-national companies are being pressured over how they describe Taiwan, with Beijing insisting they follow its line that the island is an integral part of China. Shows of force by the Chinese military in the Taiwan Strait, the narrow strip of water that divides the two, are also becoming more commonplace.

This ratcheting up of tensions between China and the self-governed, democratic island opens up another fault line for Washington in its dealings with Beijing, with the Trump administration already at odds with China over trade, North Korea and the South China Sea.

Washington has signaled closer support for Taiwan and a high-profile demonstration of solidarity comes in June when the United States opens a new complex to house its de facto embassy in Taipei that's three times the size of the original building.

Here's what you need to know about the potential flashpoint.

 

How has China been piling on the pressure?

 

While Beijing has been chipping away at Taiwan's shallow bench of diplomatic allies for years, the loss of two -- Burkina Faso and the Dominican Republic -- in the space of a month is unprecedented.

Taiwan accuses Beijing of "dollar diplomacy," enticing countries to switch allegiance with cash or other incentives -- a strategy that's become easier as China's grown richer and its pockets deeper.

Beijing has also focused its attention on companies that don't toe its line on Taiwan. Some 44 airlines were recently warned not to list Taiwan separately from China on their websites and given a deadline to comply, a move the US government has described on May 5 as "Orwellian nonsense."

Most recently, Japanese retailer Muji has been fined for coat-hanger packaging that described Taiwan as a country.

China has also prevented Taiwan from attending, even as an observer, the annual meeting of the World Health Organization's decision making body for two consecutive years, a move that excludes the island's 23 million people from information that helps prevent outbreak of global diseases.

No target is too small. In the small Australian town of Rockhampton, tiny fish-shaped Taiwan flags featured on a children's art project displayed in public were painted over, reportedly at the behest of Beijing.

 

What's China's goal?

 

China and Taiwan -- officially the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China, respectively -- separated in 1949 following the Communist victory in a civil war that saw the Nationalists flee to the island.

The two sides have been governed separately since, though a shared cultural and linguistic heritage mostly endures -- with Mandarin spoken as the official language in both places.

Bringing Taiwan back to the fold has eluded China's Communist leaders for nearly seven decades and would be a huge achievement for President Xi Jinping, who now has the option to rule for life.

Chong-Pin Lin, a former deputy defense minister in Taiwan, said he believes reunification is still a long-term goal for Xi. For now, he says, Beijing is focused on deterring Taiwan from making a declaration of independence -- something that would be a huge embarrassment for Xi.

"Beijing is skillful at applying psychological pressure on Taiwan," he says.

President Tsai Ing-wen's Democratic Progressive Party has traditionally leaned in favor of formal independence from China, compared to Taiwan's other main political party, the Kuomintang, as the Nationalists are known locally.

Although Tsai has been "very prudent" since being elected in 2016 and tried to restrain the more radical wing of her party, says Lin, Beijing may feel that she will look to appeal to her base as mid-term elections near.

However, it's not just about the stick for Beijing. China has also been encouraging integration. In February, China's Taiwan Affairs Officer revealed 31 new measures to promote exchange and cooperate with Taipei, many of which make it easier for those from Taiwan to work, do business and study in mainland China, including teachers and doctors.

 

How does the US fit in?

 

Despite their unofficial nature, Taiwan's ties with the US, which provides arms to the island under the Taiwan Relations Act, appear strong.

Defying strong pressure from China, Congress passed the Taiwan Travel Act, which US President Donald Trump signed into law in March, by unanimous vote in both houses. It aims to make it easier for US officials to visit the island and Taiwan officials to visit the US.

Another bi-partisan bill aimed at ensuring Taiwan's space in the world stage isn't diminished further was launched on Friday by Republican Sen. Core Gardner and Democratic Sen. Edward Markey.

"This bipartisan legislation will help ensure that major international organizations do not turn a blind eye to our ally Taiwan simply because of China's bullying tactics," the senators said.

And when the Trump administration opens the new American Institute in Taiwan, as the unofficial embassy is called, on June 12, it's possible that high-ranking members of the Trump administration will attend.

However, in Taiwan, some analysts fear that an erratic and unpredictable President Trump may use Taiwan as a bargaining chip to extract concessions in his dealings with China on North Korea or trade.

"Taiwan-US relations are pretty good right now, but we don't know what the future holds," said Lin.

 

What's Taiwan doing about it?

 

Taiwan has long been used to operating in China's shadow.

In 1971, the Republic of China was forced to withdraw from the United Nations after a motion was passed recognizing the People's Republic as the only lawful representative of China to the UN. Many other countries followed suit, including the United States, which switched diplomatic recognition to Beijing 1979 but has maintained unofficial ties with Taipei.

Its unofficial relationships, especially with the United States, ultimately carry greater weight than its smaller, formal allies. Taiwan has representative offices, which act as de facto embassies, in more than 100 cities and a passport issued in Taiwan allows visa-free access to 148 countries, compared to 70 for China.

Many people in Taiwan barely bat an eyelid when a diplomatic ally is lost -- seeing the money the government spends on maintaining and cultivating these small countries as a waste.

What will be key is if Beijing's pressure has an impact on the island's more powerful allies, like the US, EU or Japan or on the companies that do business there.

As Beijing has ramped up pressure, Taiwan's government has been more vocal in calling out Beijing's tactics.

It has publicly criticized some companies who have bowed to Beijing's pressure. And Tsai warned of a red line in a statement issued last week in the wake of Burkina Faso's decision to ditch Taiwan.

"China's efforts to undermine our national sovereignty are already challenging Taiwan society's bottom line. This we will no longer tolerate," said President Tsai.

"We will simply redouble our resolve and continue to engage with the world."

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Rob Schmitz, “Taiwan Loses 2 More Allies To China And Scrambles Jets To Track Chinese Bomber Drills”

National Public Radio May 25, 2018

 

"War of paralysis"

 

But Taiwan's former deputy defense minister, Chong-pin Lin, disagrees that China would launch such an aggressive military attack of Taiwan. "If Beijing really wants to use military options, it would be a war of paralysis," says Lin.

 

Taiwan Loses 2 More Allies To China And Scrambles Jets To Track Chinese Bomber Drills

It's not easy being in charge of foreign relations of a country most of the world refuses to recognize.

 

Taiwan lost another ally on Thursday. The West African country Burkina Faso became the latest country to cut ties with the island. After the Dominican Republic, that's two in less than one month. And like other countries, including the United States, that for decades have broken diplomatic relations with Taiwan, they did so for one reason: to please China.

 

The Chinese government refuses to maintain diplomatic relations with any nation that recognizes Taiwan and has long pressured countries to sever ties with the island.

 

For Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, it's hard not to feel cornered.

 

"When we look at the rest of the world, every other country has the right to enter into diplomatic relations with other countries," Wu says in an NPR interview. "They have every right to participate in international activities or international organizations. But Taiwan is in a situation that it is being blocked by China to do all those things."

 

Despite the fact that Taiwan has its own democratically elected government, its own military and its own flag, the Chinese government regards the island as a renegade province that belongs to China. Today, fewer than 20 countries have formal ties with the island, down from about 30 in the 1990s.

 

Yet while China has long used diplomatic and commercial might to isolate Taiwan, it has also recently displayed its military strategy. Last month, China conducted a live-fire drill in the Taiwan Strait for the first time in two years. That was soon followed by bombers, surveillance aircraft and fighter jets from China's air force that have been circling Taiwan on a semiregular basis in recent weeks.

 

China's Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman Ma Xiaoguang was quoted by the Global Times tabloid as saying the purpose of the drills was "to reaffirm that we have strong determination, confidence and capability to destroy any type of 'Taiwan independence' scheme in order to safeguard the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity."

 

But military experts offer different takes on what it may mean: Some view the drills as routine exercises, but others say this could be a glimpse of future plans for invasion.

 

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen was angered by China's latest moves, including its poaching of Burkina Faso, one of Taiwan's last allies in Africa and the fourth country to ditch Taiwan since the president took office in 2016.

 

"The series of outrageous maneuvers from China intended to diminish Taiwan's sovereignty has crossed a red line for Taiwanese society," Tsai told reporters.

 

On Friday, Taiwan's Defense Ministry said it dispatched fighter jets to shadow Chinese bombers carrying out a drill around Taiwan.

 

If nonviolent means don't work

 

Capt. James Fanell, a former deputy intelligence head for the U.S. Navy's Pacific Fleet, says none of Beijing's military displays surprise him.

 

"The things that I was seeing in the classified world and the things that I saw in my job all indicated that timelines had been given to the People's Liberation Army to be prepared to have the capacity to take Taiwan by military force if need be starting in 2020," says Fanell.

 

Beijing's goal is to ensure that Taiwan is unified with China by 2049, the centennial of what the Communist Party calls its liberation of China, Fanell says.

 

"They prefer not to use force," he says, "but they've also planned to use force and they bought and purchased and developed military capability to use just in case the nonviolent means doesn't work."

 

Fanell, who is now a fellow at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, believes China will try to take Taiwan peacefully over the next decade, using economic incentives and pressure. If that doesn't work, he believes a military invasion is likely by 2030.

 

"If you can mentally take pictures of what we've seen in Syria in recent weeks, with towns destroyed by missile strikes, think about that in a place like Taipei," Fanell says of a potential Chinese attack on Taiwan's capital city.

 

"War of paralysis"

 

But Taiwan's former deputy defense minister, Chong-pin Lin, disagrees that China would launch such an aggressive military attack of Taiwan. "If Beijing really wants to use military options, it would be a war of paralysis," says Lin.

 

If it attacks Taiwan at all, Lin predicts Beijing would more likely use electromagnetic pulse weaponry — much of it currently believed to be in a prototype stage in China — that emits bursts that disrupt computers, Internet signals and radio communications.

 

Yet Lin questions the need for Beijing to take Taiwan in this manner. China's leaders would prefer to use diplomacy, psychological warfare and economic influence to gradually unify Taiwan with mainland China, he says.

 

In a speech in March, Chinese leader Xi Jinping said it is the "shared aspiration of all Chinese people" to realize China's complete reunification, threatening those who tried to stand in the way with the "punishment of history."

 

But it was what happened right before this speech — the elimination of presidential term limits for Xi — that gives Taiwanese Foreign Minister Wu a clue that invading Taiwan may not be high on the leader's agenda. "What we see is that Xi Jinping seems to be accumulating more and more power for himself," Wu observes, "and it reflects just one thing: that is that he doesn't have enough sense of security."

 

Economic pressure

 

Wu thinks Xi's power grab shows a leader who is not confident with his control over China's own problems — issues that will distract him from Taiwan. But Wen-Cheng Lin, a former senior adviser to Taiwan's National Security Council, says China is using other ways to pressure Taiwan. "China wants to drain Taiwan's finances and talent," he says. "Taiwanese companies are allowed to be listed in the mainland. Young Taiwanese talent is encouraged and incentivized to work in the mainland."

 

And China's government has put restrictions on mainland tourists going to Taiwan to put the squeeze on the island, too.

 

At Taipei's popular Palace Museum, a tour guide who only gives her surname, Lai, for fear of retribution for criticizing her government, says Taiwan's tourism industry has tanked since China began putting economic pressure on the island.

 

"Our government has been asking us to learn Thai and Vietnamese to cater to Southeast Asian tourists instead, but these tourists can't boost our economy."

 

Nobody, says Lai, can impact Taiwan's economy like China can.

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Allegri, “Miserere Mei Deus”

King's College Choir, Cambridge

accessed May 25, 2018

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lC7V8hG198&feature=share

炎熱的天氣,混亂的世局 ,激蕩的兩岸。

外在無解,反求內心。

 

這是黛安娜王妃葬禮上所唱的音樂。在全球大眾記憶裡,飛聳雲端的和聲很難抹去就此消失。

 

百年後,今日一切如夢般的消失。

 

此天樂仍然縈繞撫慰人類的心靈。

 

林中斌 2018.5.25

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犬之島

accessed June 3, 2018

極力推薦的佳片。

創意新穎。情節曲折。富有人性。視覺聽覺開展嶄新的領域。

導演Wes Anderson獻給黑澤明表示尊敬之作。

雖為卡通片,配音卻請到大群閃亮明星。

已贏得柏林影展銀獅獎。

林中斌 2018.6.3

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名作家期勉哈佛生

accessed June 6, 2018

成名的作家阿迪契說:"承認自己是以憤怒來掩飾內心受傷,不是一件容易的事。"

20180606 名作家期勉哈佛生:保持誠實.jpg

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Ruchir Sharma, “The Millionaires Are Fleeing”

New York Times June 3, 2018

*2017年,12%百萬富翁離開土耳其,16%離開委內瑞拉,2%離開印度,2%離開俄羅斯。3,000(以前吸引百萬富翁)離開英國。4,000(201612,000離開,更多)離開法國。

*0.2%百萬富翁,9,000移民美國。川普效應?

 

The Millionaires Are Fleeing. Maybe You Should, Too.

 

Tracking the rich has become a voyeuristic global industry, a form of celebrity worship. But it can also provide serious clues about where countries are headed.

 

When a country begins to fall into economic and political difficulty, wealthy people are often the first to ship their money to safer havens abroad. The rich don’t always emigrate along with their money, but when they do, it is an even more telling sign of trouble.

 

Since 2013, New World Wealth, a research outfit based in South Africa, has been tracking millionaire migrations by culling property records, visa programs, news media reports and information from travel agents and others who cater to the wealthy. In a global population of 15 million people each worth more than $1 million in net assets, nearly 100,000 changed their country of residence last year.

 

In most countries it is fair to assume that any millionaire exodus is composed mainly of locals, and not foreign investors, because the wealthy classes will be dominated by citizens or longtime residents. In 2017, the largest exoduses came out of Turkey (where a stunning 12 percent of the millionaire population emigrated) and Venezuela. As if on cue, the Turkish lira is now in a free fall. There were also significant migrations out of India under the tightening grip of its overzealous tax authorities, and from Britain under the cloud of Brexit.

 

On the flip side, slowing outflows can be a welcome sign, and in 2017 the biggest shift for the better came in that caldron of anti-rich hostility, France.

 

Equally surprising was the lack of change in the United States, where the arrival of a billionaire president did not seem to attract or repel millionaires. A net total of 9,000 millionaires migrated to the United States last year, but they represent a drop in the ocean of five million American millionaires.

 

Just like the less wealthy, millionaires seemed unsure of America’s direction under an unpredictable president who offers tax cuts and deregulation for the rich, but also bashes foreigners and occasionally talks like a pitchfork-waving populist.

 

Britain and France appeared to be trading places as magnets for wealth. For decades the rich had been drawn to Britain by circumspect banks, loose regulations and the comforts of London. Until 2016, Britain had a sizable influx of millionaires every year, but the flow suddenly reversed last year with a net exodus of 3,000, amid fears that as Britain exits the European Union, London will fade as a financial capital. It did not help that in 2017 the government raised taxes on foreigners who buy property.

 

France had long been seen as the anti-Britain, a left-leaning bastion of prying bureaucrats and high taxes that scared off the wealthy, despite the charms of Paris. But the growing exodus of millionaires peaked in 2016 with a net outflow of 12,000, then slowed sharply to just 4,000 last year. The most likely reason: the May election of Emmanuel Macron, the youngest president in French history, who promised a lighter-touch bureaucracy less hostile to business and lowered wealth and capital gains taxes.

 

Granted, displaced millionaires get little if any sympathy, but no country gains by losing the talent and capital of its wealthiest residents, particularly not emerging countries like India. Stunningly, India in 2017 suffered a net loss of 7,000 members, or 2 percent, of its millionaire population. That exodus came despite global optimism about India’s growth prospects and matched the flight from the stagnant and sanction-battered economy of Russia, which also lost 2 percent of its millionaire population.

 

This unusual flight from India’s high-growth economy may be driven by the elite’s growing concerns about an official anticorruption drive and “tax terrorism” — unlimited authority given to tax officials to target the rich. Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the government has lately begun catering to the nation’s deep socialist streak, wielding state power to flush out and tax hidden pockets of wealth.

 

In the worst cases, bouts of capital flight can gain momentum until the value of the currency collapses, plunging the nation into crisis. Balance of payments records show that 10 of the last 12 major currency crises, dating back to the Mexican peso meltdown of 1994, began when residents started sending money abroad, which was typically two years before the currency collapsed. Often politicians blamed “evil” and “immoral” foreign speculators for these crises, but it was the locals who first saw trouble coming.

 

Right now, this forensic accounting offers clear evidence of looming financial difficulty in only one major country: Turkey. Starting early last year, affluent Turks began effectively moving large sums of money out of the country by exchanging their lira bank deposits for dollars and euros, while foreigners continued to buy Turkish assets.

 

The 12 percent decline in Turkey’s millionaire population last year was by far the largest of any major economy, and second only to the 16 percent decline in Venezuela, with its small, hyperinflationary economy. Turkey’s millionaires appear to be fleeing both deteriorating financial conditions marked by very high inflation, and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s crackdown on his critics, including those in business.

 

Millionaire migrations can be a positive sign for a nation’s economy. The losses for India, Russia and Turkey were gains for havens like Canada and Australia, joined lately by the United Arab Emirates. Owing largely to the stability and glitter of the most famous emirate, Dubai, the United Arab Emirates in 2017 had a net inflow of 5,000 millionaires, increasing the size of its affluent population by 6 percent, the largest gain in the world. Britain was among the millionaire havens until 2016, but may continue losing ground until it can resolve the uncertainties raised by Brexit.

 

Savvy locals are also the first to return when a country’s fortunes begin to turn for the better. In seven of the last 12 major currency crises, residents started bringing money back earlier than foreigners.

 

More broadly, economists and politicians might rethink the blame they heap on “immoral” foreigners in periods of capital flight. They assume global money managers are more sophisticated than provincial locals — but those longtime residents are in fact quicker to spot and respond to trouble in their own backyards. They might also assume that residents are more loyal than foreigners. But the drive to protect one’s assets often trumps patriotism.

 

Millionaires move money mainly out of self-interest, to find more rewarding or safer havens. There aren’t a lot of them, but they can tell us a great deal about what is going wrong — and right — in a country’s economic and political ecosystems. Leaders who create the right conditions to keep millionaires home will find that all of their residents — not just the wealthy ones — are richer for it.

20180604 The millionaires are fleeing.jpg

 

 

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"菩薩與魔王" 華嚴經

accessed May 25, 2018

 

菩薩在天上說法時,天上魔王率眾來擾亂。

 

菩薩怎麼辦呢?

驅趕祂們?消滅祂們?

都不是。

 

菩薩以善巧智慧的方式處理。

也就是用"柔軟""粗獷"兩種語言為祂們說法。

顯然對天上魔眾魔軍只有"柔軟"語言說法,沒用。要軟硬兩手並用,才行。

 

後來,天上魔王"不得其便"

因為,天上魔眾魔軍聽菩薩說法後,發心追求至高無上的平等覺悟之心(阿耨多羅三藐三菩提)

 

值得注意的有三:

1. 菩薩不摧毀消滅魔王魔眾。

2. 菩薩設法令祂們發平等覺悟之心。

3. 菩薩手法二元,柔粗皆用。

 

注記:

●此菩薩似乎是指釋迦摩尼在降來人世之前,在兜率天(欲界由下往上算第四層天。欲界天之下是我們,有男女情慾的欲界天之上是無男女的色界天)

●天魔屬天道,有福報,魔王更如此,不容小覷。

來源:華嚴經卷五十八 離世間品 第三十八之六

 

林中斌就個人淺見試譯,敬請賜正 2018.5.25

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