The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday accused the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) of tampering with an impact assessment report on signing an economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) with China, saying the ministry had deflated potential job losses that could follow the trade deal's implementation.
Speaking at a DPP-hosted press conference, Taiwan Thinktank chairman Chen Po-chih (陳博志), who formerly served as chairman of the Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD), said the ministry had fabricated the numbers in a report claiming that an ECFA would boost GDP and create jobs.
Chen said the report, which was conducted by the Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research for the ministry, based its calculations on two contradictory scenarios — full employment and serious unemployment.
The MOEA tampered with the concluding figures in the report by “adjusting” the formulas, he said.
Chen added that during a “state affairs forum” in April, he asked Minister of Economic Affairs Yiin Chii-ming (尹啟銘) about the negative effects an ECFA would have on Taiwanese industries.
Chen said the minister did not dare state that the trade pact would pose zero harm to local industries, but only said it was vital for Taiwan to sign the deal with Beijing.
Yiin probably already knew of the ECFA's adverse effects, but purposely concealed it from the public, Chen said. He urged the Control Yuan to investigate the ministry and Yiin for possible malfeasance.
DPP Spokesman Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦) panned the government for lying to the public by having the MOEA tweak the analysis report.
In response, the ministry issued a statement last night saying that it had “adjusted the figures to better reflect reality in its assessment.”
At a separate setting, the DPP yesterday warned that China could sneak in unification rhetoric in the planned trade agreement, and Taiwan could end up being trapped in the “one China” framework
The DPP made the remarks in the wake of President Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) statement on Wednesday that the ECFA would not include politically sensitive language.
Ma said his administration would expedite the signing of the agreement and promised that it would not contain terms such as “one China,” “peaceful unification” “or “one country, two systems.”
“We are highly doubtful of his promise. Even if these terms do not appear in the document, Beijing would find a way to sneak in its political agenda,” DPP Spokesman Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦) said.
The absence of these controversial phrases is not a guarantee that the trade pact would be signed outside of Beijing's “one China” framework, Cheng said.
China has in the past few months made several demands to bring the Ma government to its knees, Cheng said, such as demanding that Taiwan open up direct flights across the median line of the Taiwan Strait.
The median line is an imaginary line of defense in the Taiwan Strait that was drawn up by the US.
Although the Ma administration has rejected the request, Beijing is unlikely to keep catering to Taipei's wishes, Cheng said, adding that the trade pact would pave the way for China to introduce political issues into the agreement.
The Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) also warned the government yesterday that inking an ECFA with China would be economic and political suicide for Taiwan.
TSU Chairman Huang Kuan-huei (黃昆輝) said signing an ECFA with China would be like putting all eggs in one basket by tying Taiwan's economy to a single market — China — instead of expanding its focus to cover the world markets.
‘LOCAL TRANSMISSION’: The nation reported 11 new cases, including seven local infections in the north, the highest daily number of cases since the pandemic began The COVD-19 situation has entered the “local transmission” stage and enhanced disease prevention measures have been implemented until June 8, the Central Epidemic Command Center announced yesterday as it reported six locally transmitted cases with unclear infection sources. The center reported 11 new cases yesterday: four imported cases from India, and seven local infections in northern Taiwan, the highest daily number of cases since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that one of the local infections — case No. 1,201 — is a woman who is a family member living with
SIXTEEN LOCAL: Three COVID-19 infections are linked to a cluster at a gambling house in Yilan County, 10 to a case in New Taipei City and three had unclear sources The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday urged people to increase vigilance and thoroughly practice preventive measures against COVID-19 as it reported 16 locally transmitted cases of the disease. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that 21 cases were confirmed in Taiwan yesterday: 16 local cases, four imported cases and one case undetermined. The locally transmitted cases are three linked to a cluster of infections at a gambling house in Yilan County, 10 associated with a previous case in New Taipei City and three with unclear sources of infection. The CECC on Tuesday reported a cluster
‘DOWN TO ZERO 2.0’: All pilots are to undergo quarantine at government centers, while cabin crew on long-haul flights have to quarantine for 14 days The Central Epidemic Command Center yesterday announced stricter measures to contain a COVID-19 outbreak among China Airlines (華航) flight crew, as the nature of the confirmed cases indicated an unknown chain of transmission within the airline. The “Down to Zero 2.0” plan will be tough on China Airlines personnel, but is necessary to minimize the risk to society, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. Under the measures, all China Airlines pilots and copilots are to be recalled to undergo quarantine at government centers, while cabin crew who are returning from long-haul flights or who have
SHOPPING MALL: People who have been to places visited by the confirmed cases at about the same time should pay attention to their health condition and report symptoms The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday revealed several locations in Taoyuan and Taipei visited by two people confirmed to have COVID-19 when they were likely contagious. Case No. 1,183 — a China Airlines (華航) pilot, the husband of case No. 1,184 — on May 1 visited the “Pilot in Cafe” coffee shop from 12pm to 12:30pm, the Gloria Outlets (華泰名品城) shopping mall from 1pm to 1:30pm and Hutung Peng’s Old Shop Xinjiang Ramen (胡同彭家老舖新疆拉麵) from 2pm to 2:30pm, all in Taoyuan, the CECC said. People who visited the venues at about those times should pay attention to their health condition, and