21. Taiwan, Hong Kong,
and Macao

This small book of mine would not be complete without a few words about the Taiwan situation. Theoretically, future developments in that island province can upset much of what I have so far put down on paper here. Although they have never acknowledged it publicly, Chinese leaders on both sides of the Formosa Strait are concerned about the future of Taiwan mainly, if not exclusively, owing to such an apprehension.

This is a Chinese province. There have never been enough aborigines to be reckoned with politically or economically. The territory features a subculture brought over by the immigrants from the mainland who speak the Fujian and Hakka dialects. Lineage influence among them is strong. Under the Japanese rule, Taiwan's agriculture was geared to export its surpluses to Japan, with camphor, sugar, tea, and rice being the staple crops. But cultivation has never been developed to a plantation scale; it is done by intensive farming on homestead plots not basically different from the prevailing conditions in south China. Owing to a more favorable geographical setting, nowhere has the general poverty on the island measured up to the extremes evident in many parts of the continent, the northwest for example.

-295-

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