Thu, Apr 01, 2010 - Page 8 News List

Ma must consult public on ECFA

By Wu Hui-lin 吳惠林

The important thing is for Taiwan to first deploy its own strengths and that means we have to demonstrate self-­confidence in order to win the support of other countries. When it comes to an ECFA, the approach being taken runs counter to such experience.

First, the Ma administration has deliberately downplayed Taiwan’s strengths, instead whining that Taiwan can only survive by relying on China, and begging the Chinese side to help us out by deigning to sign the ECFA.

Apparently Taiwan will only be able to negotiate free-trade agreements with other countries after an ECFA is signed. If we start out by looking down on ourselves, how can we expect others to respect us?

It is time for this government to face the facts and change the paternalistic attitude it always adopts when addressing the public. It should not keep promising that an ECFA will be signed by such-and-such a date. Instead, it should be expending more energy on finding out how people really feel.

Our leaders should have the courage to play to Taiwan’s strong points. However impossible things may sometimes seem, it is our responsibility to mobilize and fight for what we believe to be right. Let us not forget that Taiwanese have shown time and again that they can be as vigorous and tenacious as anyone else.

Wu Hui-lin is a researcher at the Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research.

TRANSLATED BY JULIAN CLEGG

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