After Taiwan and China sign an economic cooperation and framework agreement (ECFA), WTO regulations require that a free-trade agreement (FTA) be signed within 10 years.
In addition to tariff exemptions, an FTA requires the signatories to deregulate their service industries, including the retail, wholesale, food and beverage, tourism, hotel, entertainment, media, bank, insurance, communications, transport, health, education, consulting and brokerage industries. This could give rise to an influx of Chinese service industry manpower in Taiwan.
In short, the signing of an FTA will mean a substantial opening up of Taiwan to the Chinese labor market. In addition to the inflow of Chinese capital, Chinese workers will also flood Taiwan. Taiwan and China will, in practice, move to the “common market stage” of economic integration and form a “one China common market.”
There are four main differences between a common Chinese market and the EU. EU member states recognize each other’s sovereignty, while China sees Taiwan as part of its national territory; EU states have a common defense policy, while China has missiles pointed at Taiwan; key EU member states are of approximate size and no country can monopolize the organization, while China is much bigger than Taiwan and will dominate a common Chinese market; and the EU is made up of democratic states, while China is a dictatorship where the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is the government.
After adopting capitalism, the CCP has perpetuated its control of the Chinese government, legislation and judiciary, interferes with markets, leads the distribution of benefits and directs corporations, and then uses corporate control to direct media and public opinion in order to achieve its political goals.
To simplify his rule, the Qin (秦) emperor relocated the rich and powerful to undermine their power base. Today, an ECFA and an FTA will push Taiwanese businesspeople to move to China and usher in Chinese capital to Taiwan. These agreements will also introduce significant change, causing a great outflow of Taiwanese labor and a large-scale invasion of Chinese. Chinese and Chinese interest groups in Taiwan are sure to become a force to be reckoned with, and under the CCP’s direction, they will become the key force — just as they are in Tibet and Xinjiang.
With the power to direct the common Chinese market, it will be easy for China to use its control over businesses to influence the interests of Taiwanese corporations and order around Taiwanese businesspeople, enterprises and media around until they are scared into silence, thus restricting freedom of expression and dissemination of public information. The next step will be to control Taiwan’s elections at all levels and to direct Taiwanese politicians toward emulating China’s Taiwan policy. This is how they will annex Taiwan without wasting the life of a single soldier.
The main point of the ECFA is not capitalism or the best interests of the working class. ECFA is but another name for the promise of a common Chinese market and one China. It is a contract to sell Taiwan.
Lin Kien-tsu is a member of the Taiwan Association of University Professors.
TRANSLATED BY PERRY SVENSSON