Beer not bombs ¨C the new Chinese invasion of Taiwan

With the recent ascension of both China and Taiwan to the WTO, barriers between the Taiwan Straits are becoming less of an impediment. Excerpt from Bloomberg
Tsingtao Brewery Co., China’s largest brewer, plans to build a NT$1.5 billion ($43 million) brewery in southern Taiwan with Taiwan’s Sanyo Whisbih Group, taking advantage of new investment rules to break into the island’s alcohol market. Tsingtao’s entry into Taiwan’s beer market is one of the first by a foreign brewery following the island’s termination in January of the alcohol-production monopoly held by the state- controlled Taiwan Tobacco and Wine Monopoly Bureau.

This is great news for beer drinkers in Taiwan. I mean ¡°Taiwan Beer¡± is okay on occasion but if you have to drink it every day it gets old fast. Not to mention the hangovers as IIRC they use formaldehyde as a preservative (as does Miller). In the old days, prior to 1985, only Taiwan Beer was available in Taiwan. Then The Monopoly Bureau came out with Taiwan Dark Beer, which was alright and a welcome change, but more or less the same beer. In the late 1980¡¯s, the beer market opened up and beer drinkers were treated to Miller in giant cans and Holstein tall boys. Any Taiwanese doper, please fill in the beer history from 1990 as I lost touch.

Now a stock market listed capitalist company from China is breaking into the Taiwan government monopoly beer market. Oh, the irony.

Now that trade and the economic opening is determined by a supranational body, WTO, Taiwan is going to find that it¡¯s comparative advantages vis-¨¤-vis China are going to decline. Already the Taiwanese manufacturing base is hollowing out to the Mainland, and even the chip foundries are starting to move across the water. Now there will added pressure as Chinese direct investment in Taiwan is allowed, and the flow of goods from China will increase dramatically. As I argued in this GD thread, I believe that this continuing economic integration is going to force a political settlement. Regardless, at the end of the day, I think the beer drinkers in Taiwan will be happier.

[Wasn’t sure if this was IMHO or MPSIMS, mods feel free to move this thread if conditions warrent.]