Mon, Sep 22, 2008 - Page 8 News List

THE LIBERTY TIMES EDITORIAL: Selling out the country, step by step

Under the “wise” rule of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), Taiwan is looking increasingly less like a country.

A few days ago, the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) held talks with China-based Taiwanese businesspeople. During the meeting, the head of the Taiwan Business Association requested that the government allow Taiwanese businesspeople to hold positions in the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) to increase their say on China’s government policy and help protect their rights and interests in China.

Giving in to such a demand, however, would irrevocably destroy Taiwan as a nation.

Nevertheless, Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Chairwoman Lai Shin-yuan (賴幸媛) said that the provincial and municipal levels of the CPPCC were not as politically sensitive as other Chinese government posts and that her council would look into the issue to see if the law leaves room for interpretation.

She also said she hoped it would be possible to relax regulations to let Taiwanese businesspeople achieve some measure of political power in China.

Xinhua news agency recently reported that Taiwanese businesspeople had complained to Ma about not being allowed to become CPPCC members, telling him they hoped the law could change and that Ma had said the idea was a good one that would be a breakthrough in protecting the rights and interests of Taiwanese businesspeople.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Kuo Su-chun (郭素春) and his colleagues are planning to push for the required amendments in the legislature.

But a Presidential Office spokesperson said Ma had only told the businesspeople that the MAC would look into the matter of low-level CPPCC membership.

This is evidence that the Ma administration already has decided that it wants Taiwanese businesspeople to become CPPCC members. Restricting such membership to provincial and municipal levels would be just the first step.

Beijing views Taiwan as part of China. In reality, Taiwan is a country separate from China, a fact that is clear to many people around the world.

Yet after taking office, Ma said Taiwan and China belong to the same China and that “the relations between Taiwan and China are not state to state relations.” These comments rob Taiwan of its national sovereignty.

Now Ma wants to go one step further by amending the law to make Taiwan even more like the “Taiwan Area of China.”

The Act Governing Relations Between Peoples of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (兩岸人民關係條例) states: “Any individual, juristic person, organization or other institution of the Taiwan Area shall not hold any position or become any member of the agencies, institutions or organizations of the Mainland Area which are political parties, the military, the administration or of any political nature.”

This law should be strictly enforced to avoid any confusion over national identity. It is hard to believe that the president is even contemplating loosening these restrictions.

Just what is the Ma government thinking? Surely it cannot believe that its moves toward integrating Taiwan’s economy with China’s unification plans are too slow.

Typhoon Sinlaku caused great destruction in Taiwan. The stock market continues to drop and the global financial crisis has caused Taiwan’s economy to suffer immensely. The UN General Assembly has denied a request by Taiwan to participate in the activities of its agencies. Taiwan’s woes appear to grow daily.

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