The pan-green camp yesterday criticized the 19-point recommendation reached by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on Sunday, saying it showed contempt for the legislature and the mainstream opinions of the 23 million Taiwanese.
The recommendation, reached and announced at the ninth KMT-CCP forum that was concluded on Sunday in Nanning, China, listed the implementation of the cross-strait service trade agreement as a top priority.
“While the Democratic Progressive Party [DPP] has always supported free trade, we argue that the unfair pact poses a ‘clear and immediate’ danger to small and medium enterprises in Taiwan,” DPP Department of China Affairs director Honigmann Hong (洪財隆) said in a press release issued late on Sunday.
The forum’s recommendation ignores the rapidly decreasing support for the pact among the Taiwanese public over the fear of the harm it could cause the local service sectors, Hong said.
He reiterated that the DPP is demanding that the agreement be renegotiated because of the lack of transparency during the initial talks, as well as the failure to consult with the affected sectors.
According to a legislative resolution resulting from cross-party negotiations, the pact is scheduled to be screened and voted on clause-by-clause this week in the legislature.
The establishment of the forum, which began in 2005, was the CCP’s and the KMT’s attempt to bypass the previous DPP administration and make decisions on cross-strait relations a party-to-party mechanism that excluded the public, Hong said.
“I don’t think [the forum] can speak for Taiwanese,” he said.
While the forum recommended holding a joint discussion on “linking both sides’ efforts to participate in Asia-Pacific economic integration,” the director said it was Beijing that had blocked Taipei’s efforts to join integration in the past.
Hong added that President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration has been inconsistent in its stance on a number of experimental free-trade zones on China’s southeastern coast, with the Mainland Affairs Council de-emphasizing Beijing’s promotion of the zones due to their “strong political implications.”
However, the KMT, of which Ma is chairman, has been encouraging Taiwanese businesspeople to invest in the zones this year, he said.
Comments by Yu Zhengsheng (俞正聲), chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Committee, which blamed “a group of Taiwanese independence supporters” for stalling the ratification of the service trade pact in the legislature, said Beijing “did not understand Taiwan at all,” DPP Legislator Lee Chun-yi (李俊俋) said.
More than 70 percent of respondents in most public opinion polls oppose the pact and only a handful of KMT lawmakers support it, Lee said.
Throughout its history, the forum has shown Taiwanese nothing except how high-ranking KMT officials fawn over Beijing for personal gain — be it financial or political — Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Chairman Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) said yesterday.
The forum has been a platform for the KMT’s strategy of “collaboration with the CCP in containing Taiwan,” through which politicians from both sides of the Taiwan Strait exchange favors without regard for the Taiwanese public’s interests, Huang said.
With the emphasis on the cross-strait service trade agreement, the forum has now become a tool with which China can pressure the Ma administration, he said.