Hsu Chung-hsin (許忠信), a law professor at National Cheng Kung University who has been nominated by the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) as its first legislator-at-large candidate, said on Wednesday that he is confident he will make it into the legislature, adding that his first mission would be to halt the implementation of the cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA).
The ECFA is leading Taiwan in the wrong direction in terms of its development, Hsu said.
“I never wanted to touch politics, but now I’m getting into it because I want to save Taiwan from the mistaken direction taken and to give future generations a better future,” Hsu said.
The “golden decade” President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) constantly refers to in his recent outline of his vision for Taiwan over the next 10 years does not mention anything about what happens after that decade, Hsu said, adding that by then, 95 percent of Taiwan’s agricultural and industrial products would be available to China and that Beijing would show its true nature and pressure Taiwan into reunification by economic means.
Even worse, after Taiwan signed the ECFA, money, technology and corporations started moving to China at an increased pace, Hsu said.
Taiwanese corporate investment in China was US$6 billion in 2009, but it grew to US$12 billion last year, Hsu said, adding that between January and September this year, corporate investment reached US$9.6 billion.
The magnet effect is becoming more obvious, Hsu said, adding that as the export rates of Mailiao Harbor exceed those of Kaohsiung Harbor, Taiwan would soon be marginalized.
There are other paths Taiwan could take other than the ECFA, Hsu said, pointing to the Yunlin towel industry as an example.
Hsu said Taiwan implemented a 200 percent anti-dumping tax on Chinese towels four or five years ago and that led to the re-establishment of the nation’s towel industry.
“We have good quality [towels], good brand names, and [the industry] gradually became internationalized,” Hsu said.
In addition, Taiwan could also develop its own geographical agricultural products, such as Lalashan (拉拉山) peaches and the red beans of Pingtung County’s Wandan Township (萬丹) to oppose China’s “magnet effect,” Hsu said.
Localizing the economy or using popular television shows to promote tourism, such as happened in South Korea with the show Jewel in the Palace, is another way to oppose the magnet effect, Hsu added.
Following Hsu’s nomination as the TSU’s first legislator-at-large candidate, lawyer Huang Wen-ling (黃文玲) and TSU Chairman Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) were also added to the party’s list of candidates.
The party hopes to win at least three seats in the legislature, which would allow it to form a caucus, Huang Kun-huei said.
Translated by Jake Chung, staff writer