Completely ignoring the struggles of Taiwan’s small and medium-sized enterprises, President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration rashly signed the cross-strait service trade agreement. It wants to destroy Taiwan’s grassroots economy to accomplish Ma’s great unification cause. This is why he does not have the patience to explain the agreement and why he used the label “groundless rumor” to dismiss the public’s concern.
Innumerable examples show that Ma is deceptive by nature.
His biggest deceit was the “6-3-3” campaign promise and the “Ma will turn things around” slogan from his 2008 first presidential election campaign.
Another was describing the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) at the time of its signing as “roses on the horizon” and saying it would help Taiwan immediately sign free-trade agreements (FTA) with other countries.
The 12-year education program also seems to have been wasted and the retirement pension reform is in disarray.
When such a liar claims other people are spreading groundless rumors, it is hardly credible.
Ma has an important theory about the signing of the service trade agreement: He says that the free economy makes it inevitable. This is just as shameless as when he said the monopoly on fuel and electricity prices was a “market mechanism.”
Taiwan’s free economy is not perfect because there are still big state-run companies.
Describing China’s economy as a free economy is a big, fat lie. China adds the word “socialist” in front of its “market economy” to hide the nature of its state capitalism.
It has for many years unsuccessfully tried to make western countries recognize its status as a “complete market economy,” but has Ma now fallen for the lie?
The world is aware of Chinese political interference in foreign trade, so despite being a WTO member, it is constantly being brought to court for its dumping practices.
Taiwan’s and China’s geographical proximity and linguistic similarities, means China not only dumps cheap products on Taiwan, but also cheap labor.
The restrictions Ma is talking about will never be implemented. What has the Ma administration done to deal with the fake beggars, monks and nuns that are lining Taiwan’s streets?
In Africa, where China is practicing neocolonialism, it even brings its own Chinese workers, including prostitutes.
The result has been an African backlash against China. When the Libyan dictatorship fell, Chinese investments were also attacked and Chinese nationals evacuated.
Furthermore, a “free economy” is not an absolute. Over the past few years, the US and some European countries have banned shorting from their stock markets.
The argument that Taiwan would be marginalized if it had not signed the service trade agreement is another way of trying to absolve the Chinese dictatorship of responsibility for some of Taiwan’s problems.
For example, the reason that Taiwan cannot join the ASEAN-Plus Six is that China is blocking it for political reasons.
Just before the ECFA was signed, the Ma administration said that Taiwan would immediately be able to sign an FTA with Singapore. Did that happen?
Ma also claims that these agreements cannot be changed, although China has not said so.
Ma is even more eager than China to sign these agreements, so what is going on?
It is partly his slave mentality that makes him fawn on China, but also because some top government officials have interests in China and do not think twice about selling out Taiwan and the Taiwanese.
China signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in 1998, but to this day, it still has not been ratified by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress.
Beijing signed the covenant as part of a deal to allow then-Chinese president Jiang Zemin (江澤民) to go on a state visit to the US.
When he had successfully completed the visit and returned to China, there was no longer any reason to ratify the covenant and create trouble for himself.
The current “unified” leadership of the Chinese Communist Party continues in the same vein.
The question now is whether Ma will abolish the constitutional separation of powers into five governme t branches and proclaim himself Emperor Ma.
Paul Lin is a political commentator.
Translated by Perry Svensson