Recently, the annual Hong Kong Innovation and Technology International Invention Exhibition came to an end, and what is still fresh in everyone’s memory is that Taiwan won the best score. With delegations from 12 countries, nearly 100 projects were exhibited. Taiwan won 28 gold, 15 silver, and 8 conference special prizes. Even more amazing is that this is the fifth consecutive year that Taiwan has ranked first in total score.
Scientific and technological innovation is the strength of the Taiwanese, and this should not come as a surprise. In January of this year, Thomson Reuters released a list of top 100 technology leaders in the world for the first time. Among them, Taiwan ranks second in the world, with 13 companies on the list. Taiwan was also ranked for having 3 companies in the top 20 for semiconductors worldwide, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), which is the world’s largest manufacturer of chips.
How can China justify competing with Taiwan by stealing and packaging technologies from other countries to falsify its own innovation capabilities? Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has publicly stated: “China’s plagiarism culture is caused by the communist system… As long as the authoritarian system suppressing people’s freedom of thought and speech exists, it is difficult for people to have the ability to innovate.” These words remind us of the story of a Swiss watchmaker.
In 1560, a talented Swiss watchmaker could easily create a clock with an error of less than 1/100 second. After he was imprisoned for opposing the stereotypes of the Holy See, no matter how much the prison punished him, he could not make a clock with a daily error of fewer than 1/10 second. The key reason for this is that a person’s freedom will have a huge impact on his mood and will.
Biden said: “Don’t expect a miracle to happen in places where there is excessive guidance and strict supervision… It is impossible for a watchmaker to successfully complete the 1,200 processes in dissatisfaction and resentment.”
Taiwan and the mainland have shown a world of difference in invention and creativity precisely because the people living in these two places have totally different degrees of freedom. In the 2018 Global Degree of Freedom report, Taiwan and the mainland scored 93 points and 14 points respectively out of a 100 point score. Compared with 2017, Taiwan’s score has increased by two points, but the mainland’s score has dropped by one point. Whether it is under the category of economic freedom, freedom of the press, or other categories, Taiwan is developing far more every year than China under the Chinese Communist Party’s rule.
Translated by Yi Ming