tv Quadriga - International Debate from Berlin LINKTV August 22, 2022 11:00am-11:31am PDT
(sophie fouron) when you think of taiwan, you think of a big city: taipei. i didn't refer to taiwan as an island even, but it is. it's not like any other island i've been to before. it's huge and 75% of the island is covered with mountains. we all grew up with "made in taiwan" and they do produce lots and lots of things. the parts in your cellphones are probably from here. but it's way more than that. taiwan is a paradise
for hikers, a fantastic place for tea lovers and there are hot springs everywhere. people work a lot here: 6 days a week. kids study all the time. in order to sustain that fast-paced lifestyle, the taiwanese people have figured out many ways to be efficient and productive: from wi-fi everywhere to scooters that take you where you want to 7-11 on every corner. it's a highly efficient and functioning society. i do have the feeling that taiwan has to prove itself to its big brother china and that their way of life is a way to define themselves and to claim their identity.
(kuanying chao) taiwan is a group of 300 islands between china and the philippines, so we are kind of isolated in the pacific ocean. 99% of the area is on the taiwan main island. (sophie fouron) kuanying chao. passionate tourism guide, she works throughout the island of taiwan. nicknamed camera, she documents her life and everything around
her in pictures, and these are her islands. (kuanying chao) taiwan was governed by different countries before. if we go up to 300 years ago, then we were governed by dutch people, spanish people and then japanese people. after world war ii, japan release taiwan and asked the chinese government to take care of taiwan for a while. so we have more and more people who came from china. more and more of the younger generations started to wonder why and who they are actually. are we part of china and what is the history? so i think that was a bit confused until now and it's still a big discussion for us. when we talk about the difference between china and taiwan, people always think we are more open or we are more creative than them in terms of absorbing new things and
adapting to new situations. we have 23 million people in taiwan, but 70% of the population lives on the west coast. the most famous city in taiwan is taipei. (sophie fouron) every neighbourhood seems like downtown taipei. it's so busy. there are people everywhere. there you are! (po-wei yu) hey. - hi, po-wei. - hi. - what's the population of the taipei area? - nearly 7 million people. the population density is nearly 10 000 people
per square kilometre. in this area, it's more than 20 000 people. i moved here when i was 8 or 9. - okay. so you know this neighbourhood very well. and you live here now? - yes. - in this type of apartment building? - yes. everyone would like to live in a big house with great yards, but our population density is extremely high. - so how come you don't take a scooter like all the other taiwanese people? - i used to ride a motorbike, but now i usually take the mrt or ride a u-bike because of ecological concerns. - with that big a population... - yes. - ...you need to have efficient services. - yes. - and you have a very efficient way of managing your garbage.
- waste management. we do recycling and it's free, but we pay for waste. in the beginning, we paid the waste fee included in our utility bills. - okay. - but it wasn't very fair, because some people do recycle and some people don't, right? - okay. yes. - so it wasn't fair. so now our government officially sanctioned plastic bags. so we pay for the plastic bags and that's how we pay for our waste. - i see. - so we pay as we go. come on in. there are different sizes. - okay. - yes. there's an official seal here that shows it's an officially sanctioned plastic bag. - i see. how does the garbage pickup work? - okay. when you hear the music, you know, für elise or
the maiden's prayer. - okay. and then? - then we take out our garbage. there are 3 trucks waiting there. one is for garbage, normal garbage, one is for food waste and kitchen waste and the last one, the biggest one, is for all the recycling. so we throw out everything at the same time. - wow! it comes how many times a week? - 5 days a week, 3 times a day. they can match our schedule. - so what do you have to bring tonight to the garbage truck? - a whole bag of garbage. - i'll help you. - and plastic containers, actually. this one. - so you sort everything. everything needs to be sorted. - yes. glass, plastic bags and styrofoam. - what if you mix things up?
- you'll get fined. - you get a fine? - yes. it's not very complicated. it's easy. - you are so right. so we just walk around with our garbage. - yes. we just cross the road and the car will be there. - i've noticed that you don't have many garbage bins in the city. - our government doesn't encourage you to put your trash outside. you need to bring your own garbage back to your home because it costs something when you generate waste. - of course. - so if there are a lot of public bins, people may just throw it in the public bins. when i was a kid, there were piles of garbage just on the street. - yes? - yes. it's coming. it's coming. - i feel like a kid! it's coming!
- yes. - beethoven must be wondering in his grave why they're using his song all the time. how many pickup spots in taipei? - more than 4 000 spots, i think. - okay. very nice truck. - so we need to wait for another truck for the recycling. - okay. - i'll dump the waste. hi. - okay. - this is my neighbour, mister chao. - very nice to meet you. - he lives upstairs in the same building. - it feels like community work. people get together. it's almost like a social event. - yes and we can have a short conversation. - yes! yes! people come together, you can meet your neighbours...
- and this one is for food waste and kitchen waste. today, we don't have any. - we don't. - so the other one is for the rest. recycling. - okay. they're so disciplined. - it's very effective. - it's effective and efficient. - you only need to give it to them. - okay. here? - done. (kuanying chao) surprisingly, we have 2 international airports in taiwan. so if you want to move from the north to the south, you have multiple ways to do that. you can take an airplane.
you can take express railway. you can also choose coach or you can drive on the highway. or you can take a scooter. (sophie fouron) nice to meet you. (yi-chieh wu - monique) nice to meet you too. - so where are we going today, monique? - today we are going to the south of taiwan, to tainan city, where i was born, to visit my mom. i'll take you on my scooter to the train station to take a high-speed train. - scooters are very convenient. - extremely. for you. the pink one.
- my colour. - ready? (kuanying chao) mostly, people come to taipei for work, so the people who work and study in taipei, most of them are from different cities. they move a lot to go back, so high-speed railway is the most efficient way for people to travel (sophie fouron) high-speed train. which one is it? the orange one. - oh, the orange one. the second one. - yes. - okay. here.
we're in car 2. - okay. - so we have to wait here. we follow the line. you're not allowed to go over. - this is not good. - no. - it's so well organized! - we're the best in the world to know how to wait in line. - well, that's quite a feature. that's quite a feature. here we are. how long does it take you by train to go to your mom's? - an hour and forty minutes. - and by car? - oh! 5 hours. - okay. - there are 12 stations. we're going to tainan at a really good speed, nearly 400 at the fastest. - 400 km per hour?
- yes. but not all the way, right? otherwise, you'll stay at about 300. - there are no different speeds in taiwan. it's just always high-speed. - go! go! go! go! everything's done with speed. - yes. it's expected. - yes. - right. - you have to be fast. otherwise, your company will lose everything. - you studied in the states. was it a culture shock when you got there? - yes! it was a huge shock. unlimited internet is very expensive, but it's not that stable compared to the taiwanese one. - i've never seen a high-speed train on another island, i must tell you. - but the thing is, i never feel like an islander. - you don't feel like an islander. - no. no, no, no. - it's so huge and you don't see a lot of water here. everything happens inside. - yes. in the cities. taiwan has a long history being in the cold war zone with china. even now, we are not allowed
to go to their waters. - your relationship with china is complicated. do you feel taiwanese first and then chinese? - i never feel chinese. taiwan has been colonized by dutch people, spanish people, japanese people and the qing dynasty. the qing dynasty was 600 years. they're chinese, but they're not han. they're a different tribe. it's complicated. i never feel "chinese chinese". - right. - i can speak chinese as a language, but the tendency i have right now, especially our generation, we see ourselves as taiwanese. taiwan is a small place with a highly developed places. why is that? we have to be strong and fast and friendly. - and in taiwan being strong is working hard.
- working hard, being polite, having a sense of humour, right? joke around. - and getting to where you want to be fast. - oh yes. speedy train. high-speed train. there you go. (kuanying chao) sometimes people ask me where i'm from. it surprises me because maybe they're holding phones from htc, they do cycling on the bikes of giant or merida or they have the notebook by asus or acer. it's all from taiwan, but they have no idea about taiwan. so in the past, we manufactured a lot of things and now we emphasize on research and development. so i think we always want to improve and also prove ourselves on what we can do with limited resources.
(che hui liao) i'm a full-time blogger. i'm a tech blogger and high tech manufacturers in taiwan are always interested in working with me... taiwan isn't a big island, but almost all of the 3c products get launched here initially. most of us technology students strongly believe that if a mobile phone can be successfully marketed here, the product will be a hit all over the world. taiwan is like a miniature-scale example of globalization. i've never heard of a country or region in the world that has such widespread internet access as taiwan. everyone has a phone with network access and it's really affordable.
this kind of access is almost unseen in other parts of the world. older generations, like our mothers, fathers and grandparents, they all have cell phones and surf the web. even street vendors will watch tv or movies on a tablet as they wait for customers. people tend to think that resources are limited on islands and that information is harder to access, but that simply isn't the case on this island. we aren't cut off from anything here. (kuanying chao) we work really hard to get recognized by other companies and other countries. we think that's the only advantage for taiwanese people.
when i work in an office, i work almost 12 hours a day and sometimes i have to work on the weekend. i think that's part of the culture in taiwan. we work really hard so we can make money for our retirement after we finish our studies and our work. we have the concept that the most important or ideal job is doctor, lawyer or teacher. careers that require a lot of studies. students in high school are in school from 6 or 7 am to 5 pm. then we have to go to [taiwanese], that's the cram schools, to learn more. at 9 pm, you go home
and you can finish your homework and prepare for your exams on the next day maybe until midnight. so that's a tough studying life in taiwan. we don't learn anything, only how to get the correct answer. after we finish the exam, we forget everything. (sophie fouron) saturday in taipei is not a day off for everybody. a lot of kids still have to go to school. (keri harris) hi! come in! - thank you so much. (keri harris) so this is my dorm. right now, there are about 5 people living on this floor.
when i came here, i started going to university classes. i go to school 5 days a week for 3 hours every day and then i work 6 days a week. sunday is pretty much my only day off. - cram schools are actually very common in asia. how are they different here in taiwan? - in taiwan, they're really focused on the test scores. so going to cram school after school, they're taking what they learned during the day at normal school and cramming more information into them at night. [students reciting] even when i ask my students: "oh! what did you do this weekend?". usually in canada when they ask us that, it's: "oh! i went here. i was with my family." but here, they just say: "i slept. or i studied. or i went to cram school." - how old are your students? - it varies. we have kids that are just over 4 years old. - over 4? okay. that i didn't expect. and your class tonight. how old are they?
- they're the oldest group actually in this school. so they are seniors in high school and i even have one university student, so they're about 17 to 19 years old. - it's time to go to work. - yes. - 5 floors down. - all the way down there. - okay. so it's from 6 to... - 9. 3 hours. - 6 to 9 on saturday nights. - yes. - do you find that they are exhausted? - sometimes yes. and i feel really bad. i try to keep them engaged in class, but it's difficult. so that's why i try to get them active every 10 to 15 minutes. do something, a quick game, to keep them kind of up and awake. so i try to get them talking a little bit more. it's better than just memorizing answers. we're going to start with a game, but first we have to move the desks. can everyone move the desks please? lisa, pick any card.
- okay. - so this one. "in the swimming pool." which way should i start? - this way. this way. - okay. ready? bikini. - water. - swimming suits. - children. - diving board. - chills. - holidays. - floating device. - people. - do you know that in other countries, on saturday night, obviously there's no school, but even on weekdays there is no school after school? you know that. - yes. - okay. and how do you feel about it? - it's because of our education system. i've been going to a cram school since i was 6 years old. - 6 years old. are you okay with coming to a cram school on a saturday night? - it's okay. - why are you okay with it? - i want more chances
to talk to foreigners. - sometimes i will complain. - to your parents? - to my friends. and sometimes my parents. - and what do you tell them? - maybe i'll say i'm so tired and i have so much homework. - do you think that one day it'll be over and you won't have to go to cram schools anymore? - maybe 30 years from now. [everybody laugh.] - in 30 years? (kuanying chao) in taiwan, we have a snack called binglang and you can call it betel nut. so they're tiny nuts. you can cut them and put some powder or leaf in between. it's mostly for the truck
drivers or taxi drivers because they work long hours. the nut for them is a boost. you can stay more awake. when you get close to the highway junction, you sometimes see the booths made of glass. there's a lady that stays in the middle. we call them betel nut beauties, or binglang xishi. xishi means "extremely beautiful girls". they sell betel nuts and drinks and everything you need before you get on the highway. (kai-ching tsai) i know a lot about betel nuts. when i entered the adult world, i didn't know what kind of job i wanted, so i started selling betel nuts. most shops are open 8 hours a day, and closed only 4 days a month.
i open my shop at 5:30 am and close it at 7:30 pm, 6 days a week. i own this shop and i don't have any employees, so i work long hours. some betel nut shops, like mine, are run by their owners, but there are 2 other business models as well. the first is what we call "the traditional shop", it's open 24 hours a day. there's also what we call the "hot girl kiosk", but the girls don't prepare the betel nuts themselves. i run my own shop, i think it's better than working for an employer. truck drivers come to buy betel nuts to stay alert during their long routes. chewing betel nuts gives them an energy boost; they feel more awake... drivers honk their horns to get our attention
and they also use specific hand signals to place their order. this means with leaves. when they do this, they want the betel nuts to be cut. some want them halved and want half the leaves, so they do this signal... some people develop an addiction to betel nuts, they chew them every day. if they go a day without them, they feel disoriented. some people get really hooked and go so far as to keep one in their mouth while they sleep. that can cause cancer. i get about 200 clients a day. it's not enough, though. shops open 24/7 make better profits. they get up to 600 customers a day because they're open round the clock...
i've been doing this for over 10 years and i feel i have the freedom i need. i may be here 6 days a week, but i am always free in my heart. (kuanying chao) we have more than 100 mountains which are more than 3 000 metres. based on this, we have tropical climate and we have the high mountain climate, therefore you can see various animals and plants. when you go across the mountain range, you arrive on the east coast. so there are only 3 counties on the east coast and people just live there. they do farming or hunting by themselves. they are more natural places for people to go surfing, scuba diving or just go hiking.
(sophie fouron) when we think of taiwan, this does not come to mind. but in fact, 75% of the island is covered by mountains. dory. (shao-chih chung - dory) hi, sophie. this area is very special because it used to be a mining area. - it's very difficult for me to imagine that when i hear the birds and see the butterflies and this beautiful, beautiful mountain. - you can see there's a sign. - yes. what does the sign say? - it says this place is still toxic. - are you taking me to an unsafe place? - well, it's toxic, of course, but it's not so serious as they say, i think. actually, the government put up a lot of these signs to try to make less problems.
if people get some problem, they'll complain to the government and say it's all their fault if they caught something. actually, the hikers don't care so much. i'll show you it's not so bad. - so this is like a giant snake in your mountain. - they say it's the longest chimney in the world. there are a total of 3 and each one lasts for one kilometre. - dory, why and when did you start hiking? - after i turned 50. like most people here, when we are young we have a family, children to take care of, we have a career, we need to make money. and then, we only have time when we're half-retired or totally retired. see? - wow! oh! - that's where the chimneys come from.