Sun, Nov 16, 2003 - Page 8 News List

Better national security net needed

By the Liberty Times editorial

In the area of economic security, Chinese immigrants have taken employment opportunities away from Taiwan's workforce with their low wages. This has aggravated the high unemployment rate, forcing the government to increase its expenditure on welfare for the unemployed.

On the other hand, China is systematically wooing Taiwanese industries, causing a massive emigration of small and mid-sized Taiwanese firms, further decreasing job opportunities for Taiwan-ese workers. The accumulated labor resentment, which is further deliberately inflamed by some people with an ulterior agenda, has led to another form of class struggle. The potential effect of this cannot be underestimated.

In terms of border security, smugglers on both sides of the Taiwan Strait are using all modes of transport and any loophole in the line of defense to come and go as they please, seriously jeopardizing border security.

Because borders are highly sensitive areas, the expulsion of illegal fishing boats and inspections of suspected smuggling boats could ignite serious crises if they are not handled properly.

In view of all these, there is a serious need to upgrade the defense of Taiwan's borders.

In terms of social security, bogus marriages are often used to smuggle in Chinese, enabling them to engage in various illegal activities in Taiwan.

Marriage has become simply a way to smuggle people into the country. In fact, some Chinese brides, under manipulation by some political groups, are used as a means to discredit the government, and to engage in political protests under the pretense of human rights and humanitarianism. This has not only impacted on the stability of the families and created confused values about the marriage institution, but has led to various family disputes and social problems. This is not to mention the social chaos that may result from ethnic rivalries.

In terms of health security, SARS originated in China and then spread to all parts of the world. Despite health and sanitary inspections set up on the borders for people entering through the legal channels, the disease still made it into Taiwan, creating a large-scale epidemic. This is not to mention the threat posed by people smuggled in crowded and unsanitary vessels and without any sanitary and health inspections.

In addition to all these security issues, one should not ignore the unification propaganda campaign waged by China in Taiwan through various legalized channels. This is especially evident from China's solicitation of lawmakers and businesspeople to study in China through preferential treatment. After these people come back to Taiwan, they willingly become China's advocates. This is one phenomenon the media has extensively reported, yet the government seems to be unable to do anything about it.

On the other hand, China's unification propaganda body is soliciting government officials who have retired from farming and fishery government bodies, as well as officials of the fishermen's and farmers' cooperatives, to help China develop its own fishing and farming industries. Taiwanese youngsters have also been invited on visits and tours in China.

Obviously, China is becoming increasingly flexible in its unification and propaganda tactics. Ppropaganda units targeting Tai-wan have been set up from the central government level to the local level. In contrast, Taiwan has no corresponding mechanisms, nor are the various relevant government ministries sufficiently integrated. There is much room for improvement in this regard.

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