Sat, Dec 13, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Academics, activists blast remarks by ARATS’ Chen

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan Association of University Professors president Lu Chung-chin (呂忠津) said it was extremely inappropriate for one side in a negotiating party to have a direct role in the way its counterpart’s negotiaions are conducted, referring to China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) Chairman Chen Deming’s (陳德銘) meeting with Taiwanese media executives on Wednesday to talk about the nation’s “risk of being marginalized in global integration” if trade agreements with China are not signed.

The association held a press conference yesterday responding to Chen’s coining of the phrase “moonflower” and “China’s economic annexation strategy in the post-Ma [Ying-jeou] era.”

Regarding Chen visiting and meeting with the country’s print, TV and online media, Lu said that while the KMT’s defeat in last month’s nine-in-one elections signified a vote of no confidence in President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) pro-China policies, Beijing has not been deterred from carrying out its agenda and has continued to “seek direct intervention in and control of Taiwan.”

Black Island National Youth spokesperson Lai Pin-yu (賴品妤) criticized Chen’s remarks about Taiwan becoming marginalized and called it a tactic that had been proved ineffective by the KMT’s poor showing in the elections.

She also panned the government for “spanking their own children to show [their strictness] in front of outsiders,” referring to the indictment of eight of the group’s members, including her, on charges of obstructing pedestrian traffic on Thursday near the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office.

The students tried to block the street used by China’s Taiwan Affairs Office Director Zhang Zhijun (張志軍) when he was visiting New Taipei City in June.

Chen Hui-min (陳惠敏), an assistant professor at National Taiwan University’s Department of Sociology and a founding member of the Taiwan March, said Chinese authorities’ grasp of Taiwan’s current state has exceeded expectations.

“They have delved into the understanding of Taiwan’s local factions, and now probably know them better than the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).”

“Many mayors and township representatives have been invited to China for meetings or to visit. The reason why Chinese delegates’ trips to Taiwan are getting smoother and smoother is not because Taiwanese have been slack in their vigilance, but because more and more local factions have been bought by China,” he added.

Lo Cheng-chung (羅承宗), an assistant professor at Southern Taiwan University of Science and Technology’s Institute of Financial and Economic Law, said Chen Deming’s “Moonflower” was an “inspiration” to Taiwan’s people.

“While the negotiations of the trade pact are ongoing in Beijing,” it is certainly possible for a “moonflower” movement to be created if the KMT and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) continue the “forced passage of any agreement that would destroy Taiwan’s economic safety.”

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