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North–South divide in Taiwan

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Air quality on 2018/2/10 by PM 2.5 concentration
(Purple color indicates "harmful" air outside、Red color means "unhealthy".) The division of air quality is one of the hallmarks of the north-south divide in Taiwan.[1]

In Taiwan, the North–South divide refers to the uneven distribution of resources in regard to political, wealth, medical, economic development, education and other aspects across the country over past decades that has drawn the social and cultural differences between northern and southern today.[6][7] The core spiritual tenet is derived from Southern Taiwanese's long-standing mindset, as they believe they had been treated and regarded as socially inferior by the Taiwanese central government.[8][9][10][11][6][12] The anger from the south quickly echoed throughout central Taiwan and eastern Taiwan, as they also thought they're not fairly treated by the central government, compared to the northern part of Taiwan.[8][10][11][6][12][9] It was known from history that the Taiwanese central government's policy support for local industrial development as well as public infrastructure is the critical determinant of a local city's future prospects for the resident population.[12]:51[13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20]

According to literature reviews, the benefits of Taiwan's economic development have been largely reaped by the northern part of Taiwan, especially the capital city-Taipei City. The rest of the benefits reaped by regions other than northern Taiwan were not proportional to what they'd sowed. This kind of uneven distribution was particularly noticeable given the mass heavy industrial output by southern Taiwan and their received final budget from the central government.[21] Due to budget shortages, local governments other than those in the northern part of Taiwan generally had no money to run their own businesses to monetize but instead accumulated debts or anticipated extra care from the central government led by Kuomintang (KMT).[22][23]:185[24][25]

The population of the northern part of Taiwan has soared by nearly 4 million over the past few decades. In the meantime, the population of the central part of Taiwan has increased by 1.14 million, and that of the southern part of Taiwan has increased by 0.86 million. The growth tendency is focused on Taipei, and falls off with increasing distance. It's believed this is because of the central government's overall national development plan and national industrial policy.[26] Over the past seven decades, the KMT has been in power for more than sixty years (1945–2000; 2008–2016) and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has been in power for over ten years(2000–2008; 2016–present). The gap between northern parts of Taiwan and the southern part of Taiwan in education, income, economy, culture, medicine and other areas is on account of the KMT party's North-South bias policy.[12][27][10]:85–86[11][6][28]:257[29][30][31][32][33][34][35]

The North–South divide in Taiwan explains a series of controversies caused in today's Taiwan, which have involved disagreements between migrant populations from China before and after 1949 on national identity, the long-term blatant racial discrimination by KMT government against the aboriginal inhabitants who lived in Taiwan before 1949, policies imposed after 1949 that devalued aboriginals' life and achievements, the deprecation of aboriginals by the 1949 migrant population, and the KMT-led central government's uneven government resources distribution, industrial policies and budget laws in favor of the regions that absorbed a relatively high portion of those new migrants, and the ensuing social economic disparity. Consequently, the most deprived areas in today's Taiwan are hit hardest by globalization together with pollution.[12]:v[35][31][32][33][34]

History origin/Historical evolution[edit]

Depending on the research, the "North-South divide" is composed of two theories and backed by two forces., i.e. the North-South bias theory derived from civilians' mindset of feeling neglected and the theorem of the North-South difference originating from the KMT politicians who intended to distinguish those who retreated to Taiwan with KMT since 1949, from the voters.[12]

KMT fled to Taiwan at the end stage of the Chinese Civil War in 1949 and re-located in Taipei. In the following decades, KMT invested most of the resources taken from the mainland as well as collected taxes in public infrastructure, education institutes, scientific research centers, government institutions, high value-added industrial zones for Taipei and its satellite cities and suburbs in addition to KMT's North-South bias policy. At this point, northern Taiwan started to grow rapidly at a speed never seen before. The government expenditure lavished on Taipei was in sharp contrast to that allocated to southern Taiwan. The gap between the two sides in all kinds of infrastructures has widened significantly since then. Besides, KMT's economic policy of establishing industries of commercial activity, trade, new generation high-value-added technology industries together in northern Taiwan while arranging southern Taiwan to develop light industry, heavy industry, and labor-intensive industry amplified the north-south divide, and southern Taiwan encountered difficulties when Taiwan had no choice to transform its economic structure towards higher-value-added industries in order to compensate the rising unemployment rate caused by the tide of globalization that forces those labor-intensive and low value-added industries to move to low wage countries like China and Southeast Asia.[27]

Consequently, during the time KMT has been in power, the number of registered companies in the North continued to rise, ripen and strengthen. In contrast, southern Taiwan kept experiencing speedy deterioration.[27] This is the reason why northern Taiwan today is the center of Taiwan's economy and the leading high-tech concentrated area featuring dynamic businesses, tertiary sectors in addition to quaternary sector, information services, and quinary sectors.[27] On the other hand, southern Taiwan is still home to Taiwan's primary sector and secondary sector.[27]

Taipei[edit]

North-South bias was used to describe southern Taiwanese people's feelings. The far-off reason is that Taipei started to grab leaders' attention by producing a large amount of profitable tea and camphor in Qing dynasty. In 1874, Japanese invaded Taiwan for the first time. Subsequently, leaders began to consider Taipei very important and established many government institutions. Subsequent to Treaty of Shimonoseki, the Japanese government located the ruling base in Taipei given Taipei had plenty of government institutions to take over, and its location that was closer to Japan than that of any other major city in Taiwan, making it easier to serve the Japanese; Taipei was the easiest place to conquer in Taiwan followed by the rest in northern Taiwan,[12]:36 unlike other regions of Taiwan that required Japanese soldiers to exert a great deal of forces for half a year to conquer, which some scholars from the south speculate led to the difference between the north and the south in culture and the way of thinking - they think northern Taiwan was more often than not occupied and ruled by an external races who then spread their own languages and cultures to northern Taiwanese.[36] Some locals feel Taiwanese people's self-image has been distorted by various political authorities when looking back on the history of Taiwan.[37] Some scholars from southern Taiwan thus consider the real inclinations of northern Taiwanese has been inhibited and believe themselves are the de facto pure Taiwanese.[36][37] Generally speaking, Chinese immigration to northern Taiwan disposed local people with fewer things to identify with in their own environment.[37]

During Japanese rule, the Japanese intentionally made use of the most recent ideas and methods to build Taipei, and Taipei was thus getting to be a city on the cutting edge of modern technology, leading Taiwan's politics and economy.[12] But even so, the job vacancies in Taiwan were fairly distributed in that time rather than gathering only in northern Taiwan under KMT's rule. Constant even distribution of jobs during Japanese rule effectively balanced residents' moving trends, local business opportunities, local consumer market magnitude, and people's costs in looking for jobs.[38]

The Nationalists' retreat to Taipei: after the Nationalists lost Nanjing (Nanking) they next moved to Guangzhou (Canton), then to Chongqing (Chungking), Chengdu (Chengtu) and Xichang (Sichang) before ending up in Taipei.

A concomitant cause is that about two million mainlanders moved with the KMT to Taiwan after the defeat of the KMT in the battle. Most of them settled in northern Taiwan, particularly Taipei City. (People migrating from China to Taiwan after 1949 were called Mainlanders. By the time, mainlanders accounted for 15-20% of the total number of people living in Taiwan.[39] Most of them decided to settle in the urban areas of Taiwan.) As of 1995, one in four mainlanders on average lives in Taipei city. Over 40% of Taipei city citizens are mainlanders. Taipei is the destination for most mainlanders, making it the city eith the highest proportion of mainlanders compared to any other cities or counties in Taiwan.[40][41][36][36]And since 1967, Taipei was promoted to a Special Municipality, and huge financial advantages came along with the promotion compared to other places in Taiwan.[42] Noticeably, two of the reasons that led to KMT to promote Taipei City was that Taipei City mayors had always been elected by those not affiliated with KMT. The other key reason was that the central government would be able to bypass the provincial government to directly gain the taxes collected by Taipei.[12]:58[30][12][31][32][33][34]

Economy and finance[edit]

Taipei had not only enjoyed the highest city status across Taiwan on par with Taiwan Provincial Government by that time but also acquired a huge budgetary expansion since it was promoted to a Special municipality in 1967. Afterwards, it became the wealthiest administrative region in Taiwan. The promotion reversed its long-running financial difficulties. At the end of the fiscal years after the promotion, the budget that was received from the central government minus the costs of city affairs turned out to be positive. Because of《Act Governing the Allocation of Government Revenues and Expenditures》, Taipei City's government could reserve much more collected taxes to use on itself without the need to submit to the central government. Taipei thus shifted to the administrative region with the best financial reports. In the meantime, other administrative regions still suffered financial problems every year and struggled to fund local construction and execute policies that would facilitate local prosperity.[12]:58–59

Xinyi Special District grounded on the diligent plan since 1980.[12]

Taipei depends on its advantages of hosting both the central government and the provincial government in addition to the rapid rise of the annual budget, Taipei began to be able to fund a variety of projects to enhance economic/future prosperity.[12]:58–59

Neihu Science Park buildings alongside the Keelung River.

In the following years, Taiwan reaped the fruits of its export-oriented economy. The central government started to use the gained revenue to directly fund a lot of infrastructures ranging from environmental remediation, illegal buildings removal, green constructions of park, urban park, national park, garden, and grassland, and construction of new roads, expressways, state-run television corporations, trading centers, national libraries, museums, Mass Rapid Transit, headquarters for nationally-owned enterprises in charge of electricity, water supply, petroleum, expansions of roads in downtown Taipei and throughout northern Taiwan, government support for start-ups of new sectors, river straightening of Keelung River with new pedestrian pathways, urban renewal and redevelopment zones that were built alongside the straightened Keelung River which excipetided the advent of Neihu Science Park[note 1], planned central business district such as Xinyi Special District, industrial parks including but not limited to Nankang Software Park and so on.[12] The business boost effect accompanied by the rise of Taipei radiated to the nearby New Taipei City, Taoyuan City, Hsinchu City, Hsinchu County, and the northern Miaoli County.[47][12]

Statistics since 1980 found that nearly half of the total government expenditure was spent on northern Taiwan's economic development, transportation, etc. Such long-term statistics reflected the fact that the central government's extensive bias made the gap between the north and south pivots even wider. Plenty of fruits of decades of Taiwan's economic development and labor achievements have been inversely proportionally reaped by northern Taiwan alone.[12][48][12]:24[48][12] The government has spent hundreds of billions of New Taiwan dollars building an MRT network of more than 100 km connecting more than 100 stations in Taipei and New Taipei City, with the airport line going into Taoyuan.[49] This is the other special municipality, namely, Kaohsiung City couldn't even compare to.[49][note 2]

Taipei, the core of northern Taiwan, finally became the center of politics, economy, finance, culture,[note 3] media, education, research in Taiwan.[12]:24[51] As Hsinchu becomes the hi-tech center of Taiwan.[52]

Northern Taiwan has literally presided over Taiwan's politic that exercises control over governmental resources since 1949.[53]

See things from Taipei's perspective[edit]

Whenever there's a stance about Taiwan shared by northern Taiwanese, it tends to be seen by southern Taiwanese as divorced from context and therefore is not easily understood or accepted in the south.[37]

Taipei and Kaohsiung were the only two special municipalities in Taiwan anterior to 2010. (See 2002 Taiwanese local elections) During the first few years in the neighborhood of 1990 since Lee Teng-hui, a non-mainlander, succeeded Chiang Ching-kuo who was a mainlander, to lead KMT, he faced power struggle among KMT because there was an enormous identity crisis in KMT between the indigenous Taiwanese [note 4] and the mainlander Taiwanese[note 5].[12] Mainlanders in KMT believed they were nationals of Republic of China.[note 6] The indigenous Taiwanese (the islanders) in KMT thought themselves Taiwanese.[note 7][note 8] Lee Teng-Hui who inclined to the "Taiwanese side" decided to perform a series of political reform to seek support outside of the KMT instead of support inside KMT by furthering the democracy in Taiwan.[12][56][57] In the wake of the political reform, citizens in Taipei and Kaohsiung owned the right to vote for their city mayors since 1994. During the campaigns of the special municipalities mayoral elections, national-wide news media concentrated in Taipei time and time again compared Taipei with Kaohsiung and concluded that "after considerate assessment of various aspects of the city development, we found that there was one thing that Taipei lost to Kaohsiung, namely, the 'severity of pollution'. "[12] In the following special municipalities mayoral elections, Taipei based national-wide media stopped comparing Taipei with Kaohsiung, rather, they began comparing Taipei with international cities like New York and Tokyo.[12] When reporting Kaohsiung, national-wide media counted in detail "the distance required for Kaohsiung to catch up Taipei" at all times.[12]

National-wide media are concentrated in northern Taipei who develop a preference to report local Taipei affairs on air, which leads to a phenomenon that "any small voice in northern Taiwan can be heard but immense public opinion in southern Taiwan are under-reported." For instance, these national-wide media are more interested in Taipei City Mayor's administrative assistant who they find attractive and give her regular appearance on TV. The national wide media's coverage on northern Taiwan was 84 times greater than that of affairs in southern Taiwan, suggested by the literature.[63][64] At the same time, many critical issues in southern Taiwan that southern Taiwanese truly care are ignored by these mainstream national-wide media, which is senseless to a professor in the department of journalism in NCCU.[64]

"The continuation of Shen Ao Fossil fuel power station [zh] in northern Taiwan gained tremendous attention from the national-wide media which even led to the subsequent national referendum that eventually vetoed and thus deterred the government's plan to re-build the power station in New Taipei City. Nevertheless, the government had also planned to re-build an even larger-scaled Fossil fuel power station Talin Power Plant in Xiaogang district, Kaohsiung. We had come out and organized a big crowd of demonstrators protesting against the rebuild plan in Kaohsiung but nobody cared about our voice. We didn't see media give us a proportional appearance on the TV and newspapers. ", said a founder of a NGO in Kaohsiung.[65]

The reconstruction of Talin Power Plant is set to complete in 2020 on schedule.[66]

Much of electricity generated from southern Taiwan by the state-owned enterprise are transported to northern Taiwan via high-voltage wire in the sky and the hazardous wastes produced during electricity generation process are either left or disposed of in southern Taiwan.[67][12]

Construction of Lungmen Nuclear Power Plant cost the central government hundreds of billions of New Taiwan Dollars paid from the tax collected from Taiwanese people including those living in southern Taiwan. Nevertheless, the construction was suspended due to the waves of objections(Taiwan anti-nuclear parade [zh]) chiefly from northern Taiwan.[sources 1]

Taipei's point of view[edit]

Taipei's point of view might refer to the point of view from Taiwanese Central Government.[12] Nonetheless, when southern Taiwanese see a viewpoint as Taipei's point of view, they're more likely meaning that they think the viewpoint overlooks the requirement of southern Taiwan, fails to appreciate the public opinion from the majority of southern Taiwanese and only takes into account of common sense in northern Taiwan, which is not in southern Taiwan's interest time after time.[12]

A professor at National University of Kaohsiung appealed to the politicians in Taipei for stop taking Taipei's point of view to make judgement!, citing "nation of Celestial Dragons is not equal to Taiwan as a whole". "When all opportunities, technologies, markets, knowledge, and every factor in favor of economies of scale is preserved in Taipei, where is the moral high ground for those Taipei residents to criticize other regions for failing to be qualified, the insufficient infrastructure, low-class? Why our central government inclines towards investing all the resources in Taipei where is already overloaded with everything, reflecting on its social burden such as super-high real estate price?", they added.[92]

Kaohsiung[edit]

Taiwan local regions' share of transportation investment from the central government since 1945 till 1994 [93]
Period Region Share ratio
1945-1994[note 11] Northern Taiwan
1945-1994 Central Taiwan
1945-1994 Southern Taiwan
1945-1994 Eastern Taiwan(Taitung in particular.)

Immigrants who came to Taiwan from southeastern parts of China earlier than 1949 approximately in 1620 A.D [54][94] were concentrated in southern Taiwan.[37] They're commonly called as islanders.[54] The motive that pushed those southern eastern Chinese to emigrate overseas was because southern eastern China was too crowded and featured a mountainous terrain disadvantageous for farming.[37][95][96]

Southern China (Fujian, northern Guangdong, Jiangxi, and Zhejiang) is more mountainous than its opposite side Southern Taiwan.[97][54][98]

They're regarded as the first wave of Chinese immigration.[37][98] These immigrants left for Taiwan on their own initiative and soon found their local spouses upon arrivals and immersed themselves in the customs of plains-dwelling aborigines—such as their religious practices—and quickly identified Taiwan as their new homeland.[37] "The resultant southern communities are quite rooted in the soil.", a professor in Kaohsiung expressed.[37]

Proposed major investment in transportation in 1994.[93]
Period Region Share ratio
1994 afterwards Northern Taiwan
1994 afterward Central Taiwan
1994 afterwards Southern Taiwan
1994 afterward Eastern Taiwan (Taitung in particular.) 0

Economy[edit]

Since the inceptions of Kaohsiung shipyard of China Shipbuilding Corporation, integrated steel mill of China Steel Corporation, Oil refinery and industrial park (Kaohsiung refinery of CPC Corporation), introduced by KMT's Ten Major Construction Projects in response to 1973 oil crisis, heavy industrial production in Kaohsiung had further ramped up strikingly, accompanied by a cascade of pollutions thenceforth.[12]

Kaohsiung/formosa incident[edit]

The central government has invested all of the money in northern Taiwan, including its technology budget and economic development budget. Everything is in northern Taiwan. Not to mention, all of the policy makers also live in northern Taiwan. In these politicians' visions, southern Taiwan doesn't even exist! [12]:85

Ding-Peng Liung (Professor of business administration in NSYSU), 《Space》1995/11

Studies suggest that Kaohsiung, which is home to most of the heavy industry that fueled Taiwan's economic miracle, was also at the forefront of Taiwanese political liberalization activities from the 1970s onwards.[note 12] Such activity includes the Kaohsiung Incident, which pushed Taiwan towards democracy, which, studies also suggest, led to the Kuomintang government's decision to reduce southern Taiwan's economic development aid, as it regarded the protests in southern Taiwan as posing a great threat to its authoritarian rule. The KMT didn't admit to nor did it respond to such revelations.[99][100][29] This expounds on why most Taiwanese are bound for the south and leaving northern Taiwan leads to traffic jams on the south-bound expressways when holidays or vacations are around the corner. This is because those citizens are not born and raised in northern Taiwan. They would like to go back to their hometown to reunite with their family during vacations.[99][100][101][29][102][103][104][105] As time comes to end the vacations or holidays, the traffic jams ensnare north-bound passengers.[29]

The entrepreneur in Kaohsiung worried about the wealth divide between the north and the south in Taiwan continued to expand, adding, “It would be hard for Kaohsiung to catch up with Taipei in 300 years.”[106]

Democracy in Taiwan virtually downright materialized since 2000 as the first non-KMT president was elected and the power was peacefully handed over.[55]

City mayoral election in 2018[edit]

Southern Taiwan was the traditional stronghold behind DPP that had helped it keep winning at the grassroots level all the way to the pinnacle of power.[49][109] Nevertheless, people are leaving southern Taiwan, their populations are aging, real-income growth is slow and the areas lack the strength to push for industrial transformation.[49] Gradually, the DPP's slogans, “green rule, quality guaranteed”, "Five plus two innovative industries plan" were deflated by the northward drift.[49][110] It's this key change that empowered Han Kuo-yu[note 13] to plant the sad sensation that swept across the majority of Kaohsiung citizens in just a few months before the city mayoral election in late 2018.[49] Despite DPP paid relatively more attention to southern Taiwan, DPP didn't realize job opportunities and wages are the keys to reverse the ongoing northward drift.[49][111] What southern Taiwanese especially Kaohsiung residents truly care is having a good job; their travel options and whether there is an opera near their home are trivial in comparison.[49]

Since Han Guo-Yu elected as the mayor of Kaohsiung City, KMT somehow realized their wrongdoings over the past decades. Now, leaders in KMT start to learn and speak Taiwanese Minnan, which KMT previously banned and disliked,[112][57] in front of southern Taiwanese and vowed to reverse the north-south divide in Taiwan. Han Guo-Yu even confessed to the north-south divide in Taiwan which puts southern Taiwanese at a distinct disadvantage. They also promise southern Taiwanese to immediately improve their economic hardship by using their election manefesto aiming to connect the economy in southern Taiwan with that of southern China on the basis of 1992 Consensus once they are in power. The implication is KMT's counterpart DPP no longer holds copyright on speaking up for southern Taiwanese and closing the gap between northern and southern Taiwan.[113][114][115][116]

Ethnic divisions between islanders and mainlanders[edit]

Taiwan reverses the progress it made in the past 20-30 years.
Southern Taiwanese are leaning forward so-called Taiwan-centered awareness over time. Nonetheless, Taiwan-centered awareness has been labeled politically. If our minds agree to such sentimental values manipulated by the politicians, consumption and customer's behavior would shift to that side. Consequently, people in Taiwan begin passing up the opportunity to engage in relatively advanced customer behavior. Southern Taiwan is indeed intentionally conserving things that are gone obsolescent...... The professed "local-ism" is supposed to move forward as the time elapses. In the present climate, the mind of Taiwanese society begins to wander and be missing in a childish age. If this kind of tendency continues, I think metropolitan areas in northern Taiwan will swiftly be enclosed by backward hamlets. [note 14] —2004/05/01 [12]:180

Charles Kao (Taiwanese) [zh], formerly a professor of economics in University of Wisconsin–River Falls, Global Views Monthly [zh] [note 15] [12]

Deep divisions within Taiwan between ethnics mainlanders, Holo, and Hakka groups factor into the north-south divide in Taiwan.[37][117][57][54]

Many of the mainlanders will presumably want to return to mainland China whenever it is freed from the Chinese Communist Party's control.[118] Mainlanders in Taiwan are mainly concentrated in northern Taiwan.[12] Mainlanders in Taiwan had enjoyed preferential treatment from the authoritarian KMT ruling, making them stand out from the rest.[12] Mainlanders are, in theory, more often than not great believers in Sun Yat-sen as opposed to Karl Marx.[119][120] Many of them become homesick towards mainland China at this moment in time.[119]

Islanders are perceived by mainlanders as non-pure "Chinese" as they think islanders were governed and thus influenced by Japanese whilst islanders regard mainlanders as non-pure "Taiwanese" as they think that mainlanders don't treat Taiwan as their home but mainland China in addition to KMT's colonialism-like ruling style that seizes resources from southern Taiwan to fuel the development of northern Taiwan.[12][37]

"If you say I'm coming from the Republic of China, foreigners mistaken you as from China. But if you say I'm coming from Taiwan, foreigners mistaken you as from Thailand.", said a mainlander.[119] "If you don't speak Taiwanese Minnan fluently in Taiwan, you will be thought as mainlanders.", they added.[119] "Mainlanders want to be understood, too. Mainlanders were in a difficult situation in 1949 given the fact that they fled from their home in mainland China due to the Chinese civil wars. During wartime, everyone’s life changes a lot.", said Ping Lu who is a first-generation mainlander Taiwanese.[119] In Taiwan, mainland­-born Chinese (and their locally born children) are commonly called mainlanders.[121] "Mainlanders in Taiwan should have realized they're a minority but they don't because the authoritarian-government-controlled nationwide media intentionally filtered out such information and concealed the population statistics in order to let mainlanders mistaken that they're not minority. Mainlanders were not prepared to learn to be like an islander.", she added.[122]

Theory of the polarity between the north and the south[edit]

【Theory of the polarity between the north and the south】was derived from the islander-mainlander conflict inside the KMT.[12]

New Kuomintang Alliance representative of mainlanders in KMT was formed to battle against the successor of Chian Chin-Guo, namely Lee Den-Hui who had been designated to calm the islander-mainlander disagreement inside KMT.[12]

Celestial Dragons[edit]

Celestial Dragons (pronounced as Tian-Long in Chinese) is a buzzword in Taiwan originated from Japanese MangaOne Piece】 in which Celestial Dragons originally refers to the class of people who constantly abuse their power and despise the people below them (referring to them as "commoners") to the point of wearing masks so as not to breathe the same air as them has now evolved into a metaphor for residents of Taipei City.[123] Residents of Taipei City are targeted by people from southern Taiwan because those living in Taipei, a core area of the political and economic power in Taiwan, more often than not propagate sense of superiority over people living far from Taipei City.[123]

History[edit]

2009, Kuo Kuan-ying, a high-profile diplomat under Ma Ying-Jeou's government, submitted several pieces of articles to his blog calling islanders as stupid Taiwanese while calling himself as superb mainlander.[123] In response, islanders labeled him and the decent fellow as Celestial Dragons.[123] As Taiwanese mainlanders are concentrated in Taipei City, such metaphors soon applied to Taipei residents overall.[123] Till nowadays, people from southern Taiwan still believe residents of Taipei unfairly occupy a bunch of resources and despise southern Taiwanese.[123] The phenomenon suggests there has accumulated an immense tide of strong passionate hatred between islanders and mainlanders of each other owing to north-south divide in Taiwan.[123]

KMT's weighthy strategy to attract islanders[edit]

Inequitable taxation system[edit]

"When one comes, one does not lay eggs, but with chicken shit." is a catchphrase of Taiwanese Minnan frequently employed by southern Taiwanese to depict the central taxation system they find discriminatory.[12]

Ministry of transportation of Taiwan's research published in 1997 reviewed aspects regarding the distributions of trade union, professional association, news media, and location theory and then concluded that northern Taiwan had a comparative advantage in running business than other parts of Taiwan, making northern Taiwan attractive to investors who planned to find a place to set offices and start-ups.[124]

Higher education and economic structure transformation[edit]

The general public in southern Taiwan keeps talking about the north-south divide in the aftermath of Taiwan's sector pattern transformation from labor-intensive sectors to high-tech sectors, which nowadays is focused in northern Taiwan owing to the central government's policies decades ago.[12]

The aftermath has stretched long because it's still too difficult for people in southern Taiwan to find an adequate job within a decent range from their hometown.[12] The occurrence of the central government's north-south bias policy has been fueled by the accumulation of relative deprivation in the minds of southern Taiwanese [12]:87–88 because they've found it truly matched their real-life experience.[125]

Higher education and emerging sectors[edit]

In response to Taiwan's economic transformation from low-labor industries to high-end industries, KMT has approved five of six science parks marked in blue 30-40 years ago beginning from 2019. The remaining science parks were established pretty late in time.[126][127]

In the first three decades since KMT's takeover of Taiwan, the most competitive sectors among the global value chain in Taiwan were low-skilled, labor-intensive sectors. KMT then issued the export-oriented economic policy as well as Ten Major Construction Projects in response and built several processing export zones in Taichung and Kaohsiung together with major heavy industrial zones around Kaohsiung, respectively, which somewhat balanced the job demand distribution around Taiwan. [note 16][38][128][129]

During the end of the 1970s, Taiwan encountered a series of tough situations such as when the U.S. decided to suspend diplomatic relations with Taiwan in 1979 and establish formal diplomatic relations with China instead,[note 17][131][132] 1979 oil crisis, Chiang Kai-shek's decision to quit the membership at the United Nation[133][note 18].[134][135][136][137][138][139][140][141][142][143] The accompanying shocks thereof started to take effect in the early 1980s. Moreover, KMT's authoritarian ruling style was subject to scrutiny through Kaohsiung-based campaigns including the Kaohsiung Incident launched by DPP members calling for the central government to commit itself to political reform and democracy, and the increasing of Taiwanese average wages. Taiwan's advantages of low-wage, low-skill-demand sectors continued to lose competitiveness compared to other developing nations, gradually resulting in bankruptcy.[38][100][29][99]

Against such a background, KMT dealt with by revising the economic policy to transform Taiwan's economic structure from labor-intensive sectors to capital-intensive sectors.[144]

Effects[edit]

As time goes by, under the effect of globalization, those process-export sectors originally settled in Taiwan started leaving for mainland China and south-east Asian countries.[38][8][23] Since 1991, KMT softened its stance on China and relaxed the rules on visits to and investment in China, opening the floodgate that furthered the gigantic outflow of capital from Taiwan.[145][146]

In the meantime, the tide of globalization not only hit central and southern Taiwan's economy but also shook the economy of northern Taiwan. Nevertheless, because of KMT's preferential policy support by introducing newly-emerging higher-value-added sectors, such as semiconductors, and providing the targeted emerging sectors with tax cuts, technical support, and other measures, the economy of northern Taipei soon recovered from the chaos and grew faster than ever, thereby rendering the region a beneficiary of globalization.[38][8][23]

People have had to leave their hometown in southern Taiwan to seek better job opportunities in metropolitans in northern Taiwan.[147] In later days, such episodes have been widely called as northern drifters (beipiao).[147]

Northern drifters (beipiao)[edit]

I don't know which political party started to unfairly distribute resources, showing clear evidence of a strong bias in favor towards northern Taiwan and against the south, not to mention Pingtung County has been snubbed in every respect for decades. Over the past two to three decades, it's not just that Kaohsiung citizens have been forced to drift northwards. It's also that citizens from Pingtung, Chiayi, Yunlin, and Chanhua have been mandated to drift northwards. As to inhabitants of Taipei, I presume that they drift abroad.[148]

A native of Pingtung, posted on November 2018 at Kaohsiung board, PTT

Beipiao (北漂),[149] literally Northern drifters refers to the group of people who were born and raised in southern Taiwan but have had left their beloved family for northern Taiwan to work as they've grown up. Most of the time, those northern drifters were having such a good time in their hometown and were reluctant to leave. However, owing to the Taiwanese central government's long-term bias policy, they've been left with no option but to leave their hometown of Counties in southern Taiwan to seek better job opportunities in northern Taiwan, provoking a long-run tendency of massive population outflow from southern Taiwan, which heavily weighed in the Kaohsiung City Mayor Election, 2019.[147][150][151][149][49][152]

Statistics suggest that the “northern drifter” phenomenon has affected all of Taiwan, not just Kaohsiung City.[149] However, Kaohsiung and Pingtung have been hit hardest because they cost most to travel to and live in northern Taiwan.[12][153] According to government data, New Taipei City, as of end of 2018, has at least a population of 700,000 “northern drifters” from Yunlin County.[149] As to Miaoli, the population decreased from 561,000 in 2008 to 533,000 in 2017, with nearly 28,000 having relocated to Taipei.[149] Pingtung County lost the highest amount of adults at ages 18–65 from 2007 till 2017 compared to other counties in Taiwan, followed by Chiayi County and Taitung County.[153] Kaohsiung's share of the number of commuters in Taiwan has shrunk from 22% in 2007 to 14% in 2018 while the commuters of northern Taiwan kept the momentum for growth.[153][154]

Taipei along with northern Taiwan house nearly all specialty hubs in Taiwan ranging from the highest political institutions, major public infrastructure, other public services, fiscal power to headquarters for international companies and virtually all of the nation's resources, continuing serving as massive talent magnets offering better opportunities and resources that draw people from across the nation.[149][49]

Implication[edit]

Beipiao or northern drifters are already popular buzzphrases across Taiwan,[49] exposing the unhappiness of many residents in the nation's south.[49]

Failing to quickly reverse the northward drift led to landslide loss of support for DPP in Taiwan's election in late 2018.[49][155][109] In that, DPP even lost its territory heart- Kaohsiung City, casting big shadows on DPP's future elections.[156][49][155][109]

Chinese Officials in Beijing considered the election result as "Taiwanese seek unification with the People’s Republic of China" as KMT who generally takes a softer stance on cross-strait relations than the DPP gained hugely from the election.[157][158][159] Although Tsai Ing-Wen called "a vote for the KMT a vote against democracy", the series of defeats DPP suffered in the island's south indicated that southern Taiwanese didn't really think about that, rather, they are indications for the dissatisfaction with the perceived lack of attention paid to grounded issues.[109]

Separated families[edit]

The adverse outcomes of the KMT-led central government's bias policy have caused hundreds of thousands of young adults to take leave of their hometowns and family and travel to northern Taiwan to seek work. And because the south is generally not as wealthy as the north, the prices paid for a family reunion in hometowns have emerged to be a burden for them, which in turn reduces their chances to see each other. They have been forced to live apart as an aftermath of the long-term bias policies, generating an accumulation of nostalgia as well as homesickness in their minds.[161][162][163][164][165]

Although sophisticated internet technologies have made communication easier than ever, those young workers often lie to their loved ones in the prevention of causing worries to the people they care for. Nevertheless, their loved ones actually know their kids just pretend to be strong on the computer screen. Only seeing is believing.[164][161]

Sentiment of relative deprivation[edit]

Starting from the age of 1980, new emerging sectors featuring higher-value-added were assigned by the central government to be developed in northern Taiwan.[166] Consequently, more and more Taiwanese have had to travel to northern Taiwan to seek jobs.[166] Before 1980, people in central and southern Taiwan just needed to seek opportunities in the regional hubs of central and southern Taiwan but since this convention broke up meaning they now have had to spend much more time, fee, reserves on leaving for northern Taipei in order to keep the responsibility of being an adult.[166]

It has been a long time that southern Taiwanese don't feel they have been treated fairly by the "Taipei-based" central government.[37] To date, many southern Taiwanese feel their interests have been sacrificed for the interests of northern Taiwan by the authorities that based themselves in Taipei.[37]

"The year Taiwan attained provincial status marked a turning point in Taiwan's history, triggering a shift of its center of political, economic and cultural activities from Tainan to Taipei.", said former Tainan City mayor of Hsu Tain-tsai.[37] Furthermore, he argued "it's southern Taiwan that truly represents real side of Taiwan".[37] Because of central government's long-term bias, the Taipei-based Presidential Office, formerly the grand office of the Japanese governor-general, has been perceived by many people in the south as a symbol of the new colonial power. [37]

For those in Taiwan especially southern Taiwan embracing local-oriented cultural and historical views often feel that "Taiwan de facto remains under colonial rule after the KMT took control of Taiwan after the 1945 Japanese withdrawal."[37]

A southbound Tze-chiang limited express from Songshan station, Taipei and Qidu railway station, arriving at Tainan Station. The train was crowded with the northward drifters returning to southern Taiwan, their hometown. The photo was taken few hours prior to the Tomb Sweeping Day and the four-day vacation in the spring, 2019.

Differences[edit]

An artist in Taiwan depicted a map to display the differences between northern Taiwan and southern Taiwan in social-economic welfare and spoken languages, in which northern Taiwan was regarded as "liberal hipster" and "engineer" while most parts of southern and central Taiwan were judged as "old farmer", people speak Taiwanese Mandarin in northern Taiwan while Taiwanese Minnan is widely spoken in southern Taiwan, northern Taiwan is recognized as "international city" while southern Taiwan is viewed as "wannabes" and "mountain and deer".[167] However, from southern Taiwanese perspective, they thought residents in northern Taiwan were "working for money" while themselves were living "true life".[167]

Political alignment[edit]

Traditionally, southwestern voters have favored pan-green parties such as the Democratic Progressive Party while northern voters prefer pan-blue ones such as Kuomintang.[31][107][108][12]:v[35][31][32][33][34][57]

"Most outlets in Taiwan are either aligning themselves with the pan-Green camp that traditionally supports Taiwan’s independence or the pan-Blue camp that traditionally advocates Taiwan’s unification with China", said a Swedish reporter in Taipei. [58]

Landform[edit]

Currently active faults in Taiwan revealed in 2010 were predominantly clustered together in central north Taiwan, corresponding with the natural feature of Taiwan's surface in northern Taiwan.

Northern Taiwan accounts for just about 20% of the total area of Taiwan but hosts virtually half of Taiwanese population, intimating Taiwanese people are exorbitantly gathering in northern Taiwan,[168][169] leading to problems of population over-swollen and slow growth of regions other than northern Taiwan.[170][171]

An article published in a demographic & land economics journal by National Chengchi University suggested that the rising housing prices in northern Taiwan were simply a result of the central government's bias towards northern Taiwan because it implemented an array of projects that created a lot of position vacancies in the north areas the treatment of which is in a sharp contrast to central and southern Taiwan.[172][173] This has led people to pursue real estate in an area the land supply of which is limited owing to geographic reasons, as there is more mountain, high land, and Table (landform) than plain in the northern part of Taiwan.[174][172]:52

Average living space per person[edit]

Per Article 40 of 【Housing Act】in Taiwan:

All houses in Taiwan must meet the following Basic Housing Standards:[175][176]

Least living space for a person living in a household regardless of whether it is already crowded or not.
People per household Average living space for a person
一 Person 13.07square meter (m2)
二 Persons 8.71 m2
三 Persons 7.26 m2
4 Persons 7.53 m2
5 Persons 7.38 m2
Six persons and above 6.88 m2

[175]

Nonetheless, in northern Taiwan has a bunch of houses with average total area less than 18 m2 in the official data. Given the population size in northern Taiwan, the figure suggests that many householders in northern Taiwan divide their house or floor in a building into pieces of smaller rooms for rent.[177][178][179]:310

Total Taiwan New Taipei City Taipei City Taoyuan City Taichung City Tainan City Kaohsiung City Yilan Hsinchu County Miaoli County Changhua County Nantou County Yunlin County Chiayi County Pingtung County Taitung County Hualien County Penghu County Keelung County Hsinchu County Chiayi City Kinmen County Lianjian County
Average living space per person in a floor
Average living space per person (Unit: Pyeong)
1998 ... 10.55 8.10 8.50 11.56 12.20 11.63 11.16 10.21 12.29 11.29 11.47 12.10 12.09 12.47 12.28 10.17 10.72 10.43 7.86 12.08 11.85 13.76 ...
1999 ... 10.91 8.56 8.55 12.03 12.36 12.61 11.24 12.70 12.16 12.83 12.36 11.88 11.96 11.42 13.16 10.82 11.16 9.70 8.84 10.86 12.25 14.62 ...
2000 ... 11.17 9.19 8.73 11.89 12.34 12.23 12.04 11.20 12.75 12.12 12.37 12.40 13.73 12.09 12.72 12.38 11.92 10.74 9.27 11.04 12.40 15.14 10.70
2001 ... 11.45 9.05 8.62 12.55 12.64 12.46 11.96 12.16 14.47 13.59 12.60 13.54 13.92 11.77 13.73 11.59 12.43 12.45 9.35 12.48 14.17 16.58 10.69
2002 ... 11.42 8.55 9.13 12.44 12.58 12.45 12.01 12.78 13.88 13.54 12.39 13.21 13.32 12.14 14.60 12.40 12.43 11.93 8.90 12.52 13.46 18.29 11.39
2003 ... 11.86 9.04 9.14 13.20 13.07 13.35 12.45 11.74 14.84 13.49 13.41 14.27 13.67 13.23 14.64 12.73 12.28 12.61 8.73 12.58 14.06 15.87 11.55
2004 ... 12.12 8.99 9.70 12.92 13.54 12.47 13.13 11.85 14.53 14.63 14.05 16.06 13.67 12.66 14.71 12.76 14.44 12.43 9.57 12.49 13.53 18.44 11.84
2005 ... 12.34 9.26 9.70 12.44 13.82 13.32 13.81 13.39 14.72 15.36 13.56 14.97 14.69 13.47 13.32 13.61 14.31 12.30 8.99 13.79 14.49 18.12 12.36
2006 ... 12.56 9.72 9.21 13.35 13.75 13.58 13.94 13.89 14.08 15.64 14.04 15.34 15.01 12.60 14.59 13.13 14.84 12.97 9.98 13.82 15.05 17.98 12.05
2007 ... 12.82 9.24 9.21 13.38 14.61 14.47 13.99 13.91 14.42 15.59 15.68 15.49 15.00 14.03 15.37 15.56 15.89 13.32 9.33 14.79 16.08 17.70 10.19
2008 ... 12.90 9.43 9.58 13.13 14.24 14.54 14.62 14.35 14.78 16.35 14.43 16.39 14.78 15.25 15.14 13.35 13.62 13.95 10.62 13.67 15.31 18.69 11.87
2009 ... 13.16 9.27 9.61 14.32 14.91 15.10 14.55 15.30 14.77 16.66 15.09 16.80 14.94 15.54 15.04 15.55 14.20 12.92 9.89 13.84 17.74 20.34 11.86
2010 ... 13.25 9.43 9.79 14.38 14.74 14.90 14.12 15.34 15.42 15.96 15.50 16.07 15.62 15.57 15.83 16.47 15.42 12.89 10.18 15.30 16.48 19.51 12.37
2011 ... 13.38 9.69 9.53 14.10 15.00 14.46 15.09 14.06 16.16 16.36 15.49 16.41 15.74 16.42 16.71 15.86 16.71 12.77 10.03 15.29 15.10 21.99 13.27
2012 ... 13.49 9.60 9.64 14.63 15.45 14.79 14.85 14.94 15.54 16.95 15.77 17.19 14.67 17.47 16.03 15.51 15.37 13.03 11.10 15.48 16.18 19.94 13.21
2013 ... 13.54 9.72 9.87 14.12 15.49 14.16 15.10 14.38 16.89 18.29 15.43 17.40 16.46 16.15 16.06 17.21 15.15 13.86 11.68 13.93 15.53 20.23 13.76
2014 ... 14.01 10.12 10.20 14.07 16.18 15.45 15.85 14.96 17.52 17.02 15.91 17.51 16.93 16.74 17.15 17.86 16.22 15.27 11.41 14.71 15.86 20.08 14.16
2015 ... 14.19 10.13 10.20 14.77 16.40 15.36 15.97 16.45 16.91 17.88 16.44 18.13 16.76 15.27 17.12 16.10 16.94 16.31 11.33 15.10 16.19 21.57 15.25
2016 ... 14.44 10.44 10.49 15.03 17.06 15.39 15.38 17.52 16.37 17.47 16.97 17.35 19.03 15.91 17.21 18.50 17.40 15.50 10.87 15.60 18.36 23.12 14.81
2017 ... 14.67 10.48 10.31 15.31 16.76 16.02 16.10 18.10 17.07 18.62 16.39 19.73 17.45 17.00 18.13 17.67 18.90 17.17 12.36 15.63 18.33 19.41
  • Definition: Average living space in a floor per person. (Nominal)
  • Formula:Area of a floor per house /Average people per household

[180]

  • Northern Taiwanese generally lives in either condominium or apartment; thereupon, 【real living space per northern Taiwanese per floor】ought to be the value extracted from the table above minus 【the share of average public infrastructure in condominium and apartment (30%-35% more than less)】.[181][182]
  • In southern Taiwan, most people live in the private-owned terraced house; therefore the 【real living space per southern Taiwanese】ought to be the value extracted from the table above to be multiplied by the number of the floors of their private-owned terraced houses, without the requirement to take into account the so-called public infrastructure share.
    • 【Real living space per southern Taiwanese】= Average living space in a floor per house (Nominal) X average number of the levels of terraced houses in southern Taiwan/Average people per household in southern Taiwan = Average living space in a floor per person (Nominal) X average number of the levels of terraced houses in southern Taiwan

Productivity[edit]

Annual median household income in Taiwan by township/city or district in 2016

Northern Taiwan has higher economic output than the south. In 2016, all northern cities and counties had an above-median per capita GDP.

List of cities and counties in Republic of China (Taiwan) by GDP per capita in 2016[183]
Rank cities NTD US$ PPP Region
1 Taipei 990,292 30,699 65,539 Northern Taiwan
2 Hsinchu City 853,089 26,446 56,459 Northern Taiwan
- Taipei-Keelung metropolitan area 830,788 25,754 54,982 Northern Taiwan
- Taipei-Keelung-Taoyuan metropolitan area
(Northern Taiwan)
807,860 25,044 53,465 Northern Taiwan
3 Lianjiang County 776,615 24,075 51,397 Outlying islands
4 New Taipei 733,776 22,747 48,562 Northern Taiwan
5 Taoyuan 731,518 22,677 48,413 Northern Taiwan
- Taiwan 727,098 22,540 48,120
6 Taichung 724,905 22,472 47,975 Central Taiwan
7 Hsinchu County 724,840 22,470 47,971 Northern Taiwan
8 Penghu County 709,066 21,981 46,927 Outlying islands
9 Chiayi City 709,033 21,980 46,925 Southern Taiwan
10 Keelung 706,808 21,911 46,777 Northern Taiwan
11 Yilan County 700,034 21,701 46,329 Northern Taiwan
12 Hualien County 693,292 21,492 45,883 Eastern Taiwan
13 Kaohsiung 684,260 21,212 45,285 Southern Taiwan
14 Kinmen County 668,582 20,726 44,248 Outlying islands
15 Miaoli County 657,292 20,376 43,500 Central Taiwan
16 Tainan 643,743 19,956 42,604 Southern Taiwan
- Central Taiwan excluding Yunlin County [note 20] 642,485 19,922 41,836
- Southern Taiwan 638,208 19,789 41,556
- Central Taiwan 635,518 19,706 41,382
17 Taitung County 623,485 19,328 41,263 Eastern Taiwan
18 Changhua County 618,969 19,188 40,964 Central Taiwan
19 Yunlin County 607,776 18,841 40,223 Central Taiwan
20 Pingtung County 592,066 18,354 39,184 Southern Taiwan
21 Nantou County 569,453 17,653 37,687 Central Taiwan
22 Chiayi County 562,743 17,445 37,243 Southern Taiwan
General economical survey by administrative divisions in Taiwan on 2016 [185][186]

The share of Taiwan's GDP by region in 2016.[185][186]

  Northern Taiwan (56.1%)
  Central Taiwan (21.7%)
  Southern Taiwan (21.3%)
  Eastern Taiwan (0.7%)

Regional economic structure[edit]

Top 20 international brands from Taiwan by 2018
Sort Name (Chinese) Name (English) Value (USD) Location
1 華碩電腦 ASUS US$1.619 billion Taipei City, Northern Taiwan.
2 趨勢科技 Trend Micro US$1.495 billion Taipei City, Northern Taiwan.
3 旺旺控股 Want Want US$0.897 billion Taipei City, Northern Taiwan.
4 中信金 CTBC US$0.603 billion Taipei City, Northern Taiwan.
5 研華公司 Advantech Advantech logo.svg US$0.5 billion Taoyuan City, Northern Taiwan.
6 國泰金 Cathay US$0.461 billion Taipei City, Northern Taiwan.
7 巨大機械 GIANT US$0.449 billion Taichung City, Central Taiwan.
8 美食達人 85℃ US$0.418 billion New Taipei City, Northern Taiwan.
9 宏碁 Acer US$0.406 billion New Taipei City, Northern Taiwan.
10 聯發科技 MediaTek US$0.355 billion Hsinchu City, Northern Taiwan.
11 美利達工業 Merida Bikes US$0.328 billion Taichung City, Central Taiwan.
12 聯強國際 SYNNEX US$0.306 billion Taipei City, Northern Taiwan.
13 正新輪胎 Maxxis US$0.299 billion Changhua County, Central Taiwan.
14 宏達電 HTC US$0.267 billion New Taipei City, Northern Taiwan.
15 台達電子 Delta Electronics US$0.266 billion Taoyuan City, Northern Taiwan.
16 中租控股 Chailease Holding US$0.262 billion Taipei City, Northern Taiwan.
17 統一企業 Uni-President US$0.223 billion Tainan City, Southern Taiwan.
18 喬山健康科技 Johnson Health Tech US$0.139 billion Taichung City, Central Taiwan.
19 創見資訊 Transcend US$0.137 billion Taipei City, Northern Taiwan.
20 微星科技 MSI US$0.097 billion New Taipei City, Northern Taiwan.

[187]

Population[edit]

Population growth in the north has been significantly higher than that in the south, intimating the greater the place is closer to the north, the better the economic outlook the place would enjoy.

[26]

Surveys show a trend away from central and southern Taiwan towards northern Taiwan. [188]

In the aftermath of the economic transformation from lower-end products in the supply chain to the middle of that, Taiwanese continues to bear the fruit and the pain of it.[189]

As people in Taiwan continued to migrate to northern Taiwan, the number of seats in the Legislative Yuan in Taiwan representative of northern Taiwanese kept rising. Many worry about this can deepen the unequal pace of development between more urbanized northern Taiwan and the rural south.[190]

Due to the fact that Taiwanese are concentrated in northern Taiwan in addition to limited land supply as a result of northern Taiwan's geography featuring a place full of mountain not suitable for buildings, the housing demand in northern Taiwan remains very high that leads to high housing price that in turn become dilemma and nightmare for northern Taiwanese. Residents in northern Taiwan, therefore, cut their expenditure for household in order to afford a house, prompting lower-than-expected birth rate, slow consumption expansion, and fears of property bubbles besides dissatisfaction of the status quo.[191][192][193][194][195] Meanwhile, southern Taiwanese generally hold back their birth planning in life to adapt to their relatively socialeconomically inferior status beside their unhappiness against the regime.[196][197][198][199][200][49]

Experts described such phenomenon as "crisis".[201]

The population growth in Taiwan reached a plateau in the 2010s, before declining sharply starts from 2022 by projections.[202][188]

Life expectancy[edit]

Regional life expectancy[203][note 21]
Region 2018 2017
Taipei City 83.63 83.57
Taipei-New Taipei-Keelung
Taiwan ROC political division map Taipei City (propose).svg
81.65 81.54
Taoyuan-Hsinchu-Miaoli
桃竹苗.png
80.4 80.26
Taichung-Changhua-Nantou 79.77 79.5
Yunlin-Chiayi-Tainan 79.34 79.16
Kaohsiung-Pingtung-Taitung 77.39 77.17

Residents in the northern part of Taiwan generally live longer than those in the south. Hsinchu and Taipei areas enjoyed highest life expectancy over the average of 80 years old.[204]

Tainan and Kaohsiung, two major cities in southern Taiwan, had average life expectancy below 80 years old while other major cities in central Taiwan and northern Taiwan such as Taichung, Taoyuan, New Taipei, Taipei, Hsinchu all had the average life expectancy above 80.[204] This is believed to be the one of the outcomes of disparity in such factors as access to medical resource, quality of life, personal fitness and others.[204][205][206][207][208][209]

According to the scholars' statistics, there are 12 medical schools in Taiwan as of 2019 and over one-half of them are located in northern Taipei,[210] intimating that medical services and education available in Taiwan are inordinately concentrated in northern Taiwan.[210] Graduating 400 physicians per year, only 32 of them opted in serving in Kaohsiung in 2018 which exposed a severe undue medical service capacity between northern and southern Taiwan.[210] "The central government hasn't even hosted any public-funded medical school across Kaohsiung, Pingtung, Penghu and Taitung yet!", said the dean of National Sun Yat-sen University in 2019.[211][210]

According to Journal of Thoracic Oncology, the occurrence of lung cancer in southern Taiwan is now 15 times greater than that in northern Taiwan, which contributes to southern Taiwan's shorter life expectancy.[212][213]

Values[edit]

The data of historical elections show a divide between urban versus rural voters, and northern versus southern Taiwanese.[214][215] For instance, voters from municipalities in northern Taipei were more inclined to support the notion of same-sex marriage legalization.[215] The top ten cities in favor of the same-sex marriage were the far northern cities of Taipei, New Taipei, Hsinchu, and Keelung.[215]

Transportation[edit]

In Taiwan, residents in northern Taiwan enjoy the biggest airport in Taiwan called "Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport" which serves as the main hub for international travel to and from Taiwan, offering a wider of variety of flights ranging from Asian destinations and the American West Coast to and from European destinations.[216] In comparison, there are only a host of reasons that a traveler might end up traveling into or out of Kaohsiung International Airport in Southern Taiwan, according to the traveler's guide, namely, only if a traveler decides to land in Kaohsiung and leave from Taipei.[216] Nevertheless, flight destinations in Kaohsiung is much less than that in Taipei, in which a traveler can only choose to fly to a few cities in southeast Asia, China, Seoul, and Tokyo.[216] This disparity in flight destination causes great burden on southern Taiwanese because they've to buy an additional ticket and spend extra time to arrive Taoyuan international airport before they can leave for their destination outside Taiwan and vice versa.[217] Additionally, since Kaohsiung international airport is too small, it doesn't has the capacity to load industries of airplanes,[218][219] which makes itself unable to copy Taoyuan Aerotropolis to develop further economic possibilities that can benefit local citizens surrounding the airport.[220]

Attractiveness[edit]

Seeing that the north-south gaps in education resources and infrastructure, firms that make medical equipment, accounting, and others that require intensive share in knowledge and higher education are predisposed to invest their departments of research and development, business management and which that require higher education in northern Taiwan in order to gain advantages.[224] On account of the north south gap in living standard, and environment protection, those informed and skilled researchers predominantly feel disposed to living and working in northern Taiwan to work to their advantages.[224]

This explains why the GDP per capita of southern Taiwan still lags behind the northern Taiwan even though the government created a few scientific industrial zones in southern Taiwan in the expectation that scientific park would easily sort out all the north-south divide in Taiwan through the outflow of benefit spill-over effect from itselt,[224] which ends up running contrary against the government's previous optimistic expectation.[224]

In the views of the facts mentioned above, international corporations such as Amazon Web Services, Google, Cisco and Facebook only found northern Taiwan attractive and therefore solely invested their local branches of Asia Pacific in northern Taiwan, which paradoxically worsened the future prospect of Taiwan by deepening the north-south divide in Taiwan.[225][226][227][228][229][230][231][232]

Education opportunity[edit]

Over half of the enrollees of National Taiwan University come from Taipei City and New Taipei City.[233][234] Among them, 90% of their annual household income rank top 30% across Taiwan.[235][236][237][238][239]

Causes[edit]

O3 concentration peaked at 100 ppb in 03/19/2019 in Linyuan & Zuoying districts of Kaohsiung City on March, 2019. (See: Air pollution in Taiwan)

The divide has often been attributed to government bias. Following the Kuomintang's defeat by the Chinese Communist Party in the Chinese Civil War and the Nationalist's subsequent flight from the Chinese mainland, the Kuomintang relocated its headquarters to Taipei in the north of Taiwan.[240][241][242]

Since the Nationalist government's retreat to Taiwan in 1949, the Kuomintang has held power for more than 60 years non-consecutively (1949-2000, 2008-2016), compared to the Democratic Progressive Party's 10 years (2000-2008, 2016-now). Owing to the Kuomintang's long-standing bias, especially over the White Terror period, the gap between the north and the south in terms of social economic development has gradually widened. Critics say that Northern Taiwan to which mainlanders fleeing after the defeat of the KMT on the Mainland had mainly relocated had a disproportionate share of economic investment, especially since the Pro-Independence movement was less common in the North than in the South. The KMT was alleged to have concentrated investment in technological fields in its base in Northern Taiwan, especially the Hsinchu and the Greater Taipei Metropolis area while investment in the South of Taiwan was mainly in industry. As industry relocated to Mainland China over the past decades leading to slower growth in Southern Taiwan, there has been a brain drain of younger college educated Taiwanese from the South to the North where higher paying service and technology industries are located.[243][244][174][100][99][172]

Over the period 1990-1998, Mayor of Kaohsiung Wu Den-yih frequently criticized the KMT-led central government for its bias in favor of the north and against the south.[245]

An article published in a demographic & land economics journal by National Chengchi University suggested that the rising housing prices in northern Taiwan were simply a result of the central government's bias towards northern Taiwan because it implemented an array of projects that created a lot of position vacancies in the north areas the treatment of which is in a sharp contrast to central and southern Taiwan.[172][174] This has led people to pursue real estate in an area the land supply of which is limited owing to geographic reasons, as there is more mountain, high land, and Table (landform) than plain in the northern part of Taiwan.[174][172]:52

Studies also suggested that Kaohsiung, which is home to most of the heavy industry that fueled Taiwan's economic miracle, was also at the forefront of Taiwanese political liberalization activities from the 1970s onwards. Such activity includes the Kaohsiung Incident, which pushed Taiwan towards democracy, which some speculate lead to the Kuomintang government's decision to reduce southern Taiwan's economic development aid, as it regarded the protests in southern Taiwan as posing a great threat to its authoritarian rule.[99][100][29]

Note[edit]

  1. ^ As of 2019, Neihu Science Park has appealed to 465 of enterprises to invest in the zone, which comes after Hsinchu Science Park's 569 but wins over central Taiwan's 205 and southern Taiwan's 234, respectively.[43][44] As of September, 2019, the Central Taiwan's Science Park's total revenue has surpassed that of southern Taiwan's Science Park by 30 billion of NTD reaching 494.7 billion NTD. The revenue growth of Centrai Taiwan's Science Park was 10.1% in comparison to Southern Taiwan's -9.8%.[45][46]
  2. ^ Taipei and Kaohsiung were the only two special municipalities in Taiwan prior to 2010.
  3. ^ Events of cultural and arts started to move to northern Taiwan since 1949.[50]
  4. ^ Arrived in Taiwan anterior to 1949.
  5. ^ Arrived in Taiwan since 1949.
  6. ^ Inhabitants who were mainland­-born and relocated to Taiwan since 1949, and their locally born children afterward.[54]
  7. ^ See also: 228 Massacre and authoritarian rule in Taiwan.[55]
  8. ^ Inhabitants that were Taiwan-born.[54]
  9. ^ “[The government] has been hesitating to invest in public service media, though recently it does try to boost the investment in public television, but it is not enough and is not stable,” a foreign reporter in Taiwan said.[58]
  10. ^ Public Television Service (PTS) is a non-profit public broadcaster.[59] Foreign press in Taiwan are mostly located in northern Taiwan, particularlly Taipei.[60][61]
  11. ^ Taiwan has been taken over by KMT since 1945.
  12. ^ Most of the activists inaugurated Democratic Progressive Party later.
  13. ^ Han Kuo-yu's campaign slogan was Make Kaohsiung citizens become millionaires! [zh]
  14. ^ The coverage was published when DPP's Chen Shui-Bian, an islander, was re-elected as President to remain in the Office as his second presidency. See 2004 Taiwan presidential election
  15. ^ A magazine founded by a mainlainder backed by KMT.
  16. ^ Refer to Taiwan pollution
  17. ^ Refer to Taiwan relation act.[130]
  18. ^ See United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2758 for further in-depth info.
  19. ^ The landscape is more mountainous in the north of Taiwan.
  20. ^ Yunlin County is sometimes perceived as southern Taiwan.[184][124]
  21. ^ Note:Outlying islands were neglected due to the small sample size.

See also[edit]

Reference notes[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tan, Pei-Hua; Chou, Chia; Chou, Charles C.-K. (2013-05-01). "Impact of urbanization on the air pollution "holiday effect" in Taiwan". Atmospheric Environment. 70: 361–375. Bibcode:2013AtmEn..70..361T. doi:10.1016/j.atmosenv.2013.01.008. ISSN 1352-2310.
  2. ^ "Archived copy" 讓我們看河去(重要河川)-- 濁水溪 (in Chinese). Water Resources Agency, Ministry of Economic Affairs (Republic of China). Archived from the original on December 24, 2013. Retrieved February 4, 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ Gao, Pat (November 1, 2007). "Taiwan's Marginalized South". Taiwan Review. Government Information Office, Republic of China (Taiwan). Archived from the original on September 30, 2011. Retrieved November 12, 2010.
  4. ^ "President Tsai unveils growth roadmap for southern Taiwan". Focus Taiwan. 2019-12-14. Archived from the original on 2019-12-16. Retrieved 2019-12-21.
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