Taishang is a composite word combining “Taiwan” and
“Shanghai” “Shangye” (meaning business) [thanks to Jonathan for correcting my mistake!] — it refers to Taiwanese businessmen who live and work semi-permanently in Mainland China. Most live either in Shaghai, or in Fujian province, across the Taiwan Strait. Many have “second wives” in China. According to this article in Time Asia, there are an estimated 1 million of them!
The two economies are already irrevocably intertwined. Beijing encourages investment, hoping that closer economic links will lead to political reunification. Taiwan’s government acknowledges that some 50,000 companies from the island have invested $35 billion in the mainland since 1991. Some experts estimate the amount may actually total more than $100 billion if investments by offshore shell companies, set up by Taiwan businessmen to skirt regulations, are taken into account.
Here is how much is being invested (officially) each year:
Time Asia has a whole section devoted to Taiwan-China relations. Nothing new here, but a semi-decent overview for those who would like to know more about the issues.
(via San Bei Ji.)