Tue, Feb 13, 2018 - Page 8 News List

Nullifying cross-strait agreements?

By Lau Yi-te 劉一德

Bilateral agreements need to be more than just pretty window dressing. The government should use this opportunity to take a look at all 26 cross-strait agreements and assess how effective they have been over the years.

Every time China has failed to honor the terms of an agreement or an agreement goes against Taiwan’s interests — as has been the case with the Cross-Strait Joint Crime-Fighting and Judicial Mutual Assistance Agreement (海峽兩岸共同打擊犯罪及司法互助協議), the investment protection agreement and the civil aviation safety pact — the government should repeal it. There is no need to continue putting up with snubs from Beijing.

Last month, the US Trade Representative’s office released an annual report that said China has not abided by WTO market rules since its accession in 2001 and has failed to carry out the promises it made on joining the organization. It said that China has no intention of becoming a market economy and that “WTO rules are not sufficient to constrain China’s market-distorting behavior.”

It added that it is now clear that the US made a mistake in allowing China to become a member. US President Donald Trump’s administration is preparing to impose harsh trade sanctions on China. The Tsai administration could learn from the Trump administration’s proactive actions how to interact with Beijing.

In January 2015, China tried to tamper with the M503 aviation route. At the time, the Taiwan Solidarity Union used its three legislative seats to put pressure on both the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) and the Democratic Progressive Party’s legislative caucuses to issue a joint statement of stern protest to Beijing in a show of support for the government.

In comparison with the latest kerfuffle over the M503 route, the legislature has said barely a word. The silence has been deafening and many Taiwanese have been disappointed with their elected representatives who are supposed to represent the public will.

At the very least, legislators should restart a review of a draft bill to provide supervisory regulations for agreements signed between Taiwan and China. Such a bill would give the legislature supervisory powers over any future proposed cross-strait agreements.

Taiwan needs to get its house in order and work harder to protect its national sovereignty and national security before it relies on any outside assistance.

From the government and the legislature down to individuals, Taiwanese must pull out all the stops to strengthen their defenses against foreign aggressors. If a conflict were to break out between Taiwan and China, only then would foreign allies have the time and space to intervene and allow the half-cooked duck time to escape from the cooking pot.

Lau Yi-te is chairman of the Taiwan Solidarity Union.

Translated by Edward Jones

This story has been viewed 7487 times.

Comments will be moderated. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned.

TOP top