Taiwan may have been left out in the cold, diplomatically speaking, but it must feel a long-distance glow every time those American TV public service announcements say: "Wear warm clothing. Save energy." For, in case you haven't checked your sweater label lately, Taiwan reckons itself the world's leading exporter of the cozy garments.
In the five years between 1968 and 1973, Taiwan's exports of sweaters rose from 1,091,000 dozen to 10,788,000 dozen, enough to besweater every man, woman, and child in Japan or half the population of the United States. The sheer numbers have not reached that high again, no doubt partially because the US imposed protectionist measures in 1979, but the dollar value has continued to rise.
Why are we telling you all this? Partly because we're in favor of the warm-clothes-to- save-energy movement, wherever the clothes come from. Partly because we're always glad to hear one more reminder of how the enterprising people of Taiwan do not let a political chill in the air kee p them from getting ahead.