Thu, Jul 25, 2013 - Page 3 News List

MAC slammed over press adverts

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

An advertisement placed in local newspapers yesterday by the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) to promote the recently inked cross-strait service trade agreement was “a bad example” of democracy in Taiwan, as the ministry had violated its function as a public policy communicator, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said yesterday.

The MAC placed the advertisement, titled “10 growing strengths,” in a number of local newspapers, pledging that the service trade pact with China would bring benefits to service sub-sectors such as catering, retail, film, laundry, beauty, e-commerce, online gaming, banking, life insurance and futures trading.

Rather than consulting Taiwanese and releasing assessment reports before completing negotiations with Beijing, the government has launched a propaganda drive, which only provides one-side information, after the pact’s signing and told local businesses that they will benefit from the agreement, DPP Department of China Affairs director Honigmann Hung (洪財隆) said.

“It is true that some sub-sectors [of the service sector] would gain a competitive advantage under the agreement, but many others would suffer negative impacts and the government has not been honest with people,” Hung said.

However, Hung admitted that it is also true that, with or without the agreement, some Taiwanese service sub-sectors have already proven very competitive in the Chinese market.

DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) described the government’s “charm offensive” and its claims that some parties and media outlets have been intentionally discrediting the pact as a “twisted and partial effort” which is not helping the nation.

The administration of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has exaggerated the positive effects of the service trade pact in the advertisement, which rather “resembled sexual potency enhancement drug adverts,” DPP spokesperson Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) said.

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