Sat, Oct 27, 2012 - Page 1 News List

Ma has failed to stand up to Beijing: report

By William Lowther  /  Staff reporter in WASHINGTON

Chan said some of the figures and statistics used in the report were not accurate and, as a result, the survey itself may not reflect the reality.

The Ma administration has not and would not sacrifice the bright future of Taiwan’s 23 million people, she said.

Taiwan aspires to a strategy of balanced growth, inclusive growth, secure growth and sustainable growth, she added.

The study was introduced at an AEI forum by US-Taiwan Business Council chairman Paul Wolfowitz, who said it was “very timely and very important.”

The former president of the World Bank said that while acknowledging Taiwan was an economic and political miracle, there was one area in which progress had not been made and things had “gone backwards.”

It was an unfortunate fact that Taiwan’s international isolation had not improved, he said.

“One has to recognize reality and come to terms with reality. Taiwan is ideally positioned to become a center for trade and commerce. The key is to open up Taiwan’s own economy,” he said.

“Taiwan can change the regulations governing its own economy,” he added.

Derek Scissors, senior fellow for economics at the Heritage Foundation’s Asian Studies Center, said that Taiwan was a relatively small economy and should recognize that it could compete and trade, but must open its domestic markets.

He said Taiwan had to lead and not follow.

“A follower comes to agreements that were fashioned by others to meet other interests, and tries to join them afterwards. That’s what Taiwan does a lot of times. And it doesn’t serve Taiwan’s interests. Thus there are criticisms in the report,” he said.

The study was written by Scissors and the AEI’s Asian Studies director Dan Blumenthal, security studies director Gary Schmitt and foreign and defense policy studies research fellow Michael Mazza.

US-Taiwan Business Council president Rupert Hammond-Chambers, who also assisted in preparing the study, said Taiwan needed to move in a new trade direction and that it was now treading water.

“The government can do better. There is huge opportunity and much that Taiwan can do itself,” he said. “Taiwan must be proactive and not just reactive. If it is willing to do that, it can go a long, long, way irrespective of the political barriers it faces domestically and internationally.”

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