Sun, Dec 27, 2009 - Page 8 News List

Pros, cons of a cross-strait ECFA

By Lin Wuu-long 林武郎

Any economic reforms along the line of ECFA will involve income redistribution. Some people will gain, others will lose. It is not a zero-sum game, however: Policy choices cannot simply be based on net positive economic gains. Wisdom must also play a part.

The democratic nature of Taiwanese society requires public debate and building up a greater degree of consensus. Thus, the timetable for Taiwan to reach a formal agreement with China has lengthened; a formal agreement is now not expected until early next year.

The KMT has unanimously decided to support an ECFA based on the very convincing argument that it will strengthen Taiwan’s international business competitiveness. In a democratic society, however, the majority does not dictate to the minority, and the minority should be able to present constructive counterproposals. An eventual consensus on an ECFA between the governing and opposition parties will be a good test of Taiwanese democracy.

Lin Wuu-long is an adjunct professor at the University of the West in Los Angeles, California, former head of enterprise management research at the UN and a former consultant to the Council for Economic Planning and Development.

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