Sat, Jun 29, 2013 - Page 3 News List

SERVICES PACT: INTERVIEW: ‘True blue’ Liu says the nation’s biggest problem is Ma

In an interview with the ‘Liberty Times’ (the sister newspaper of the ‘Taipei Times’), retired lieutenant general James Liu told reporter Tzou Jiing-wen that Taiwanese may be able to accept unfavorable government policies and shrinking incomes, but if cross-strait affairs are not handled properly, Taiwanese would not be able to make a living anymore, and the main problem with the nation’s governance lies with President Ma Ying-jeou

The government proudly points to the fact that China opened up its markets to Taiwanese construction firms, but I would like to posit the question: Which Taiwanese construction firm is going to set up in China?

Comparing local and Chinese construction needs, the scale is out of proportion. Chinese firms have the home-field advantage in terms of manpower and territory, so what advantages would Taiwanese construction firms have in China?

This is yet another point proving why many people in Taiwan say that Ma’s policies are audible, but invisible.

The same principles apply to financial institutions. We constantly pat ourselves on the back claiming advanced management skills and innovative concepts, but the fact is that within a period of half a year, Chinese workers have learned everything from us, and will soon drive us off with businesses of their own. Ever wonder why there aren’t that many Taiwanese in the higher eschelons of the finance sector in China?

It seems that the government has not taken that lesson to heart, despite having so many Taiwanese companies and Taiwanese businesspeople working in China for many years.

The Ma administration doesn’t understand the corporate sector. They negotiate with the Chinese, but they only focus on the needs of specific corporations, corporations with ties to them, because they are selfish. They make sure these organizations make money because it benefits them as well.

Selfishness has caused Ma to focus on how history will remember him, instead of whether his actions are helpful to the nation. He is counting how many agreements and accords have been signed to soften the deadlock across the Strait; he is concerned with numbers.

All 18 previous cross-strait agreements and accords are only frameworks, and have no effect, but Ma doesn’t care; and if the 19th actually harms Taiwan? He still doesn’t care.

No industry in Taiwan can stand up to the magnitude of such level of liberalization, and it is up to the Legislative Yuan to attempt to stem the tide. If it fails, then we have the makings of some very serious problems.

LT: Although the Straits Exchange Foundation and the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits agreed to move the issue of establishing representative offices on either side of the Strait to a future meeting, it does not assuage concerns on visitation rights or national sovereignty. The public is confused as to why the Ma administration is rushing the issue; do you think it is due to the same reasons as the previous question?

Liu: Absolutely. Both sides of the Strait are still hashing out the matter and yet the Ma administration is already pushing the Legislative Yuan to pass draft bills paving way for the establishment of cross-strait offices.

That he is trying to rush the legislation through the Legislative Yuan before the end of his term is clear evidence that he treats the issue as a personal accomplishment.

It is clear that the Chinese Communist Party would be more sensitive on the issue of national sovereignty, but it has not entirely swept the issue from the table. It shows some flexibility on many issues, but if the [Ma] government cannot even guarantee its people’s safety, or at least give them a sense of being safe, then it should not set up offices in China.

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