The most striking lesson in the world today between freedom and slavery, between prosperity and privation, is the contrast between free China on Taiwan and Red China on the Mainland.
Both countries are populated and governed by people of the same race. But Free China on Taiwan has political and economic freedom, an enlightened government, and the free enterprise system.
The result is that, although it is a mountainous island without oil or other mineral wealth, Taiwan has the fastest growing economy in the Far East and perhaps in the world. In one turbulent generation, the Free Chinese have wrought a miracle of economic and social advancement and political survival.
Red China, on the other hand, has the tightest thought control, the most oppressive economic system, and the most brutal terror tactics history has ever recorded. Official U.S. estimates are that the Mao-Chouregime has murdered more than 60 million of its own people. Whenever people get the chance, they are voting with their feet and risking death to escape across the closely-guarded and patrolled borders.
The Cosmunist system on Mainland China simply cannot compete in world markets. Red China’s 700 million people can manage to export a dollar value of goods only about the level of little Taiwan with its 15 million people.
The columnist Ann Landers once wrote that success in life is achieved by taking advantage of your opportunities. But, she cautioned, opportunity is usually disguised as hard work, and most people don’t recognize it.
Any visitor to the Republic of China on Taiwan cannot help but note the way the Free Chinese have recognized their opportunity in the disguise of hard work, and made the most of it.
Returning last week from Taiwan, I was greatly impressed by the progress made in the seven years since my previous visit. Hard work in a free enterprise system and under a stable government has transformed this island from a primitive and war-ravaged economy to a prosperous industrial nation whose per capita income is the second highest in Asia, and whose manufacturing production increased more than 25 percent last year alone.
The hub of the export trade is Kaohsiung, a modern industrial port with broad, busy streets, new factories, warehouses, freight terminals, and a giant new oil refinery.
The recent completion of the Tsengwen Dam, one of the largest construction projects in the Far East, is a good example of an efficient labor force working with a strong sense of national purpose to provide electric power, irrigation, and recreation for two million people. Instead of the typical American delays and cost overruns, the dam was completed six months ahead of schedule at a cost ten percent less than the estimate.
In the past two years, many American VIPs have visited Red China, Including the President, the Secretary of State, Senators, Congressmen, and reporters. It is too bad that they did not complete their education by visiting Free China on Taiwan.