Sun, Oct 18, 2009 - Page 8 News List

THE LIBERTY TIMES EDITORIAL: Let the public scrutinize the ECFA

If that’s how China treated Hong Kong and Macau, which were already in its pocket, one can only wonder what it would do to Taiwan, which it seems to covet more than anything else.

The ECFA is strikingly similar to the CEPAs when one considers how the CEPAs led from two systems toward one country.

China’s State Council in May passed a document containing suggestions for speeding up the development of Fujian Province as the area directly across from Taiwan. The measure is intended to complement the ECFA once it has been signed, with the goal of integrating Fujian and Taiwan.

It is easy to imagine the other goals of this document. China is keeping a high profile, telling Taiwan: “This is what we offer. It’s up to you to decide whether you want it.”

The government has already said it intends to begin negotiating an ECFA with China late this year. This raises questions about what an ECFA will entail, who will benefit from it and who will lose out, how the nation will benefit and what it will sacrifice, in what capacity Taiwan will sign the agreement and whether the public will be allowed to approve it.

None of this is clear. The effect is like handing over your chop, ID card, the contract for your house and a whole book of blank checks to a stranger. No one in their right mind would do such a thing.

Since this is precisely what Ma seems prepared to do, it is necessary to launch another petition calling for a referendum on the ECFA issue. At the same time, the year-end elections for county commissioners, mayors and city and county councils will be an opportunity to cast a vote of no confidence. The public must tell the government loud and clear that it cannot do as it wishes without their approval.

TRANSLATED BY PERRY SVENSSON

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