Sat, Nov 02, 2013 - Page 8

Too many eggs in one basket

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) continues to urge Taiwan’s legislature to expedite the passing of a proposed cross-strait service trade agreement. Even Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research president Wu Chung-shu (吳中書) has said: “We’re in a race against time” and: “We don’t have much time left.”

First of all, who is “we”? The majority of Taiwanese? If it means most Taiwanese people, why do more than 70 percent of respondents in most public opinion polls oppose the agreement? (“Opposition slams KMT-CCP suggestions,” Oct. 29, page 3). So, who is this “we”? Perhaps it is the CCP? The KMT? Or could the plural “we” just mean one person, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九)?

Second, why is Taiwan “in a race against time”? Should Taiwan not take its time, analyze all details and scrutinize how the agreement would affect each and every service sector? Or should Taiwanese simply allow Ma, once again, to pull the wool over their eyes and believe him saying: “It’s all in Taiwan’s best interests, trust me.”

After being continually suffocated by Ma’s wool covers for more than five years, the public seems to have finally awakened to his ulterior motives, which seem to rarely include Taiwan’s best interests.

Given Ma’s sinking poll numbers (9.2 percent at one point), perhaps what Wu means by “We don’t have much time left” is that “they” (the CCP and KMT) do not have much time left before the end of Ma’s administration, and the subsequent end of its selling out Taiwan to China.

Wu further stated: “We’re losing our competitive advantage bit by bit as other countries all work hard to sign free-trade agreements with China,” citing South Korea as an example. Okay, let us compare Taiwan with South Korea. Chinese missiles aimed at Taiwan: 1,600-plus. Chinese missiles aimed at South Korea: zero.

Does the current president of Taiwan (or should I say the Republic of China?) believe that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China? Yes. Does he work effortlessly to unite China and Taiwan? Yes.

Does the current president of South Korea believe that South Korea is a part of China? No. Does the CCP threaten military force against Taiwan if it does not eventually unite with China? Yes.

Does the CCP threaten military force against South Korea if it does not eventually unite with China? No.

Should we compare apples with oranges? No.

Should we compare Taiwan with South Korea? No.

Furthermore, should Taiwan be putting all of its economic eggs into the massive basket that is China?

Given Taiwan’s strategic location and enviable access to Asian trade routes, perhaps it would behoove the Ma administration to put more focus, effort and resources into putting fewer eggs into many smaller baskets, thus diversifying Taiwan’s eggs throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Unfortunately, thanks to Ma’s single-minded focus on placating China and bringing Taiwan into its fold, most of those potential economic eggs expired even before they were laid.

Brent Calkins


Judgement for princelings

There are princelings in China. There are princelings in Taiwan.

In Taiwan those princelings have been doing and surviving very well. Doing so well, many of them want to expand their business, powers and influence into China. Lien Hui-hsin (連惠心), the daughter of former vice president Lien Chan (連戰), is one of them.

Unexpectedly, Lien Hui-hsin is now under investigation by Taiwanese prosecutors, because her nutrition supplement company is suspected of using unauthorized drugs in its weight-loss pills, which it sells in Taiwan and is planning to sell in China.

There is a rumor circulating that Lien Hui-hsin’s case is politically manipulated for good reasons — it is commonly known that President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) dislikes Lien Chan, hates being criticized by his son, Sean Lien (連勝文), and cannot stand knowing that Sean Lien is now the front-runner to be the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) candidate in the election for Taipei mayor next year.

Big name makes big news. Big news creates big impact. At this point in time, people do not know if this is simply a criminal case or a political war inside the KMT.

What people do know is that 75 percent of Taiwanese distrust the local justice system, according to a recent survey, and that in China, the new leadership is seriously trying to root out corruption by imposing life sentences on a princeling and his wife.

Lien Hsui-hsin’s case is becoming a symbol — its verdict will tell Taiwanese: Is Taiwan still a nation ruled by law? Are all people equal in front of the law? Or does the KMT still own the courthouse?

Ken Huang

Murrieta, California