Mon, Mar 29, 2010 - Page 8 News List

THE LIBERTY TIMES EDITORIAL: Taiwan deserves ECFA referendum

Google and Yahoo are two good examples of this phenomenon.

Beijing instructed both companies to hand over personal data on human rights activists and even launched hacker attacks against them. To safeguard its business philosophy and democratic values, Google is now withdrawing from the Chinese market.

Despite the international media coverage it has attracted, China’s unreasonable demands and interference in the operations of Google are insignificant when contrasted with the negative impact created in Taiwan by Beijing’s sugarcoated but ­ill-intended economic dealings.

Once China establishes an economic foothold in Taiwan, it will be used to either co-opt or divide the public.

In future, it is inevitable that some local enterprises will do exactly what Beijing says to safeguard their commercial interests, while others will second-guess the Chinese leadership.

This will give China direct control over the domestic political situation in Taiwan. In other words, the strong pro-China leanings of the current government and the way it is blindly paving the way for Chinese capital will allow China to put political pressure on Taiwan through economic means.

The disputes between Google, other foreign enterprises and China are of a purely commercial nature, while the exchanges between Taiwan and China involve the lives and property of 23 million Taiwanese.

Today, Google and some other foreign companies have realized that China is not the promised land of sustainable development they believed it was; rather, it can be quite an unpredictable — and even dangerous — place.

In the face of these developments, the Ma administration has stayed the course on its pro-China policies and is ignoring the wishes of Taiwanese as it inches towards the precipice.

Despite its claim to have access to an endless number of talented people, many of whom are academics and experts, the Taiwanese government falls far short of Google in its vision, scale, boldness, and insistence on democracy and freedom.

In the current situation, the Taiwanese public’s only recourse is a national referendum to stop this disaster in the making.

TRANSLATED BY EDDY CHANG

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