Fri, Jul 09, 2010 - Page 8 News List


Legislature must reject ECFA

Now the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) has been signed against the will of the people. Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) says the legislature has to vote to ratify or reject the ECFA in its entirety, without amending it article by article. Under the circumstances, the best choice for the legislature is to reject it, for several reasons.

The ECFA was negotiated in complete secrecy. If the ECFA were so beneficial to Taiwan, why did the government have to hide it from the people?

Most Taiwanese are opposed to the signing of the ECFA. Their request for a referendum on the deal was denied. A protest by 150,000 people in a rainy Taipei was ignored by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who went to the south instead. Representing the people, the legislature has an obligation to uphold the will of the people.

The ECFA was signed at gunpoint, with about 1,500 Chinese ballistic missiles aimed at Taiwan. Such an “agreement” is not legitimate. What has happened to Ma’s promise not to sign any agreement with China when Taiwan is under threat?

After signing, even Ma admits that China ultimately intends to take over Taiwan in the post-ECFA era. He should also mention that China’s political intentions mirror Ma’s own intention of “eventual unification.”

The ECFA might improve cross-strait relations temporarily, but will lead to economic and political disasters for Taiwan eventually. Taiwanese themselves know much better about the effects of ECFA than the government-solicited foreign advisers did.

When Chinese Nationalists and Chinese Communists collaborate, it is not the time for celebration. Taiwanese have to unite to protect their ­democracy.

The legislature must exercise its power to reject the ECFA and hold a referendum instead.

Charles Hong

Columbus, Ohio

Women are not property

I was disgusted with your decision to print Kenneth McCauley’s letter (July 7, page 8).

Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel, a devotion not to any universal ethical principle but to something as arbitrary as one’s place of birth or the color of one’s skin. Such tribalism is ethically empty and beneath contempt.

So this “MC Hot Dog” feels “sick” when he sees Taiwanese girls dating Westerners? Well, perhaps he ought to be reminded that Taiwanese girls do not belong to him, nor are they the collective “property” of Taiwan or of that organ which purports to speak on behalf of a coerced population, the government. A woman’s choices are her own and a woman’s life is her own — whom she may or may not choose to date is none of his damn business, for she belongs to herself.

Xenophobia is no answer to perceived slights and criticism — and there is much criticism to be offered to Taiwanese people if they are to secure and advance their freedom in the future. The hallmark of Western culture and the scientific and technological progress it has offered the world has always been rational criticism; the irrational dismissal of all such criticism is, and has always been, the hallmark of despots, racists and those so sick of mind as to accept either one.

Yours contemptuously,

Michael Fagan


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