Mon, Apr 12, 2010 - Page 8 News List

THE LIBERTY TIMES EDITORIAL: ECFA conspiracy must be stopped

Parallel to its strong promotion of an ECFA, the government treats China as a normal friendly country, which is wishful thinking. The Ma administration claims that an ECFA tackles only economic issues and refuses to even mention the word “unification.” Instead, it notes that Taiwan’s representatives asked China to give up some of its benefits from the agreement and insists that an ECFA will help Taiwan promote greater economic cooperation with other countries in the Asia-Pacific region and Europe, as well as with the US and Japan. The government refuses to organize a referendum on an ECFA because no other countries organize referendums on free-trade agreements (FTA) and because there were no referendums on previous FTAs. That argument obviously ignores the fact that the public distrusts China, which still threatens to attack Taiwan militarily and subjects Taiwan to unrelenting pressure in the international arena.

Many people now hope that the debate between Ma and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) will be followed by a referendum, giving the public an opportunity to show that sovereignty rests with the people.

If Taiwan wants to sign a FTA with China, it should do so within the framework of the WTO, with China as one of many negotiation partners. This is how to develop a correct international strategy. However, the government not only wants to talk to China one-on-one, it is also desperate to sign this nonsensical agreement. Even worse, once Taiwan signs an ECFA, it will be completely controlled by China. The government accuses the previous DPP government of having caused the nation’s economy to become increasingly dependent on China; an ECFA with Beijing will only make this situation worse, but then again, that is probably exactly what the government wants.

China is now doing all it can to help the Ma administration sell an ECFA to the public because it is clearly encountering difficulties doing so on its own. The KMT and the CCP are conspiring together and China is offering economic benefits to get the willing Ma administration more firmly on the hook. Tang Wei (唐煒), CPPCC member and head of the Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao Affairs department under China’s commerce ministry and Hsu Chun-fang (徐純芳), deputy director of Taiwan’s Bureau of Foreign Trade, seem to get along very well, which highlights how the KMT and the CCP are working together to take Taiwan down a road from which there is no return. It is incumbent on the public to rise up with force and spirit and stop this conspiracy before it’s too late.

TRANSLATED BY WU TAI-JING

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