Taiwan and the Mainland Can Create More "Straits Combinations"
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
July 9, 2013
Summary: Taiwan's number one female tennis star Su-Wei Hsieh and her Hunan counterpart Peng Shuai formed a "Straits Combination" of "incomparable beauty and extraordinary charisma." At Wimbledon, the Mecca of world tennis, the dynamic duo won the women's doubles championship. This was the first time the two have ever won a Grand Slam since they teamed up. The Su-Wei Hsieh and Peng Shuai "Straits Combination" are defacto spokesmen for "Chiwan." Chiwan is a portmanteau of Mainland China and Taiwan. It is a perfect example of win/win cross-Strait cooperation.
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Taiwan's number one female tennis star Su-Wei Hsieh and her Hunan counterpart Peng Shuai formed a "Straits Combination" of "incomparable beauty and extraordinary charisma." At Wimbledon, the Mecca of world tennis, the dynamic duo won the women's doubles championship. This was the first time the two have ever won a Grand Slam since they teamed up. The Su-Wei Hsieh and Peng Shuai "Straits Combination" are defacto spokesmen for "Chiwan." Chiwan is a portmanteau of Mainland China and Taiwan. It is a perfect example of win/win cross-Strait cooperation.
The foreign media coined the term "Straits Combination" to describe the Hsieh Peng team. It is a combination that was applied to sports. But it is a combination that can also be applied to cross-Strait industrial cooperation, trade and investment, even political issues. The two sides can complement each other, giving them both advantages, and creating a win-win relationship.
Four years ago, the two sides of the Taiwan Strait experienced a major reconciliation. Mainland capital and Mainland businesses were allowed into Taiwan in June of that year. In the past, cross-Strait industrial cooperation meant "Taiwan brands made in Mainland China." The term "Chiwan" made its debut. Now "Mainland China brands made in Taiwan" is a new cross-Strait trend. The concept of "Chiwan" combines the advantages of both sides, and has South Korea worried.
Last year, Japan attempted to "nationalize" the Diaoyutai Islands. This aroused outrage among people on both sides of the Strait against a common enemy. The China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) previously offered to work with Japan on the joint development of the East China Sea oil fields. But political sensitivities and the Diaoyutai Islands sovereignty dispute have made it impossible to reach any agreement. The CNOOC made its offer in good faith. It proposed joint development of East China Sea oil fields and South China Sea oil and natural gas fields. Now however, it shifted its attention to Taiwan's Chinese Petroleum Corporation.
CNOOC General Counsel Zhao Liguo has visited Taiwan at least five or six times. His mission was to promote cross-Strait cooperation in the exploitation of these oil fields. To promote broader CNOOC and CNPC cooperation, CNOOC transferred some of its Congo mining interests to CNPC. CNOOC and CNPC now have a joint investment in Congo mining, bringing the two even closer together.
Actually CNOOC and CNPC began cooperating with each other as early as 1994. In late December 2008, former CNOOC general manager Fu Chengyu and former CNPC chairman Pan Yan met in Beijing and signed four agreements, including a "partial interests in Kenya 9th district transfer agreement." This took cross-Strait cooperation in the oil industry one step further. The CNOOC and CNPC partnership is the oil industry's "Straits combination."
The biotech industry is universally recognized as a cutting edge industry. The two sides of the Strait are one people who speak the same language. As National Science Council Member Chu Ching-yi noted, the biopharmaceutical value chain is long. The Mainland Region of China has 1.4 billion people. Foreign pharmaceutical companies are eager to sell drugs to the Mainland. Individuals on both sides of the Strait are genetically closer than anywhere else in the world. This facilitates the cross-Strait biopharmaceutical division of labor. Taiwan can perform first stage clinical trials. The Mainland can provide many patient samples. It can also perform the second and third phase trials. This combination, this division of labor, if used in liver cancer and lung cancer testing, can produce excellent results.
Zhongtian Group Diamond Biotech Venture Capital Deputy CEO Tang Chun-je recently noted that cross-Strait cooperation in biotechnology enjoys a "three P advantage" in "Program, People, and Place." With these three advantages, the two sides can expect to become an international biotechnology development center, and establish a joint Chinese biotech industry.
Consider sports from an industry perspective. Doubles tennis is more difficult than singles. The difficulty is in finding the right partner. Only when one finds the right partner, can one plus one be greater than two. Su-Wei Hsieh and Peng Shuai first formed a partnership at the age of thirteen. Their "Straits Combination" did not achieve fame overnight. They had to constantly adapt and adjust. Industrial cooperation is not blind groping. But cross-Strait coownership provides many advantages. With "Straits Combination" economic cooperation, Taiwan businesses need no longer go it alone. They can reduce costs and accelerate the recovery of their investments.
Su-Wei Hsieh has played tennis for over 20 years. Since turning pro, the highest rank she has ever achieved in women's singles is 23rd in the world. This is the highest rank any woman tennis player from Taiwan has ever achieved. Asian players on the tennis court lack the speed and strength of European and American players. Achieving Grand Slam pinnacle level success in tennis is extremely difficult. Winning a singles championship is even more difficult. Shu Wei's father Hsieh Chi-lung is a tennis coach. He understands his once rebellious runaway daughter. He knew that for her to make an achievement in her career worth remembering, she had to find a way to break through.
Last year, Hsieh Chi-lung personally appealed to Peng Shuai and her mother. He analyzed Shu Wei and Peng Shuai's performance since their 2008 doubles victory in Bali. Altogether the two won four WTA Pro Tour doubles titles. Peng Shuai excelled at defending the baseline. Shu Wei excelled at net volleys. He argued that if this pair of "Daughters of China" formed a "cross-Strait alliance," the could win a Grand Slam doubles championship. They could achieve a world's first and go down in history.
In singles competition, Xie and Peng might have ended up as competitors. But if the two stood on the same side of the net, they could form an alliance that would defeat all comers. The two have known each other since they were young. They are the same age. They have complementary characteristics. They have no language barrier. They have no problem communicating off the court. On the court, when it comes time to confront their opponents, they have no trouble communicating with each other. A simple look at the other and they know what stroke to use. Together the seized the fruits of victory.
The Wimbledon women's doubles championship is now in hand. But Xie and Peng's cross-Strait Grand Slam victory is merely the beginning of the "Straits Combination." The Wimbledon victory adds fresh impetus to cross-Strait "Chiwan" cooperation. The two sides can now create many more "Straits Combinations," in addition to the wildly successful Su-Wei Hsieh and Peng Shuai Straits Combination adds fresh impetus to cross-Strait "Chiwan" cooperation. The two sides can now create many more "Straits Combinations," in addition to the wildly successful Su-Wei Hsieh and Peng Shuai Straits Combination.