The very model of a modern major economy

In bad news for Taiwan, the government said Thursday that export orders fell for the third time this year. The good news was that Taiwan released economic data at all and on time, a sign of its democratic openness.

In contrast, China decided to delay the release of the latest figures for its economy – the world’s second largest – on Monday. The official silence was perhaps intended to prevent disappointing figures from embarrassing Xi Jinping this week as he secures a third term as Communist Party leader during a party elite gathering. Many estimates suggest that China’s per capita gross domestic product could fall, while Taiwan’s is expected to become the highest in East Asia this year.

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Taiwan is still struggling as a young democracy – its first direct presidential election was held 24 years ago. Still, people have embraced the need for transparency and integrity in government, starting with economic data. In contrast, Mr. Xi has “reversed course from his predecessors’ emphasis on humility and openness to focus on national pride and self-sufficiency,” as the Wall Street Journal puts it.

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