"The conundrum for the DPP is that the Taiwanese identity that has been trampled on and discarded under Ma is both a trump card and a liability."
My very abbreviated response is as follows:
My good friend Michael does a great job explaining how ‘Light Blue’ Taiwanese voters justify voting for the KMT to themselves.
“The breakthrough in cross-strait ties has contributed to Taiwan’s efforts at regional consolidation and facilitated the signing of trade pacts with Japan, New Zealand and Singapore,” the president said, adding that accession to regional integration initiatives such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership will be the next step for Taiwan.
Addressing concerns about the nation’s economic dependence on mainland China, Ma said Taiwan should continue pursuing trade liberalization to avoid being left on the sidelines of Asia-Pacific economic integration.
“In addition to regulatory easing and market opening measures, Taiwan must continue economic and trade collaboration with mainland China en route to participating in expanded regional integration.”
- How has the “breakthrough in cross-strait ties” ™ facilitated the signing of trade pacts with Japan, Singapore, and New Zealand? What is the link? If a link cannot be substantially demonstrated then the statement has as much empirical validity and factuality as “the rise in vegetable prices following the last typhoon facilitated the pregnancy of panda Yuan Yuan”
- Asked about Taiwan’s economic dependence on China and Ma’s answer is … to talk about more economic dependence on China. Ma is positing that the ONLY way for Taiwan to participate in ‘regional integration’ is by closer economic relations with China. Even if we believe that Ma means ‘regional integration’ to be ASEAN and other multilateral trading organisations (and not just a synonym for ‘unification’), why would it benefit Taiwan’s participation and voice in these organisations if its economy is even more dependent on the Chinese economy? What’s the link? Is Ma looking for any possible reason to merge the economies of Taiwan and China despite the serious economic and political asymmetry in relations between the two countries, not to mention that China is quite open about a) its determination to annex Taiwan, b) the fact that it sees economic agreements with Taiwan merely as means to achieve that annexation, and c) that economic agreements are a first step to shoehorning Taiwan into ‘political talks’ that have one purpose.
- What doesn’t Ma talk about improving trade relations with Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Malayasia, and the Philippines? Why is he obsessed with China? China is Taiwan’s biggest trade partner and the biggest single location of Taiwanese direct investment but if the Chinese economy tanks so Taiwan’s will be severely hit too. This is the exact definition of putting all your eggs in one basket.
Authorities in Yunlin County yesterday charged 95 Taiwanese and Chinese, led by a former village warden, after completing a four-month investigation into an alleged human-trafficking ring.
I’ll admit this wasn’t my best letter. It lacks focus and there’s some errors:
- I say Taiwan signed FTAs with NZ and Singapore and then say China will block Taiwan from signing FTAs which is contradictory.
- The editors removed my reference to the Executive Yuan’s Oversight Bill being oversight in name only.
- I should have explained the false premise that better cross-strait relations were related to Taiwan’s economic relations with other countries.
- No mention of fact that cross-strait agreements are from the PRC perspective entirely political and the pathway to ‘unification’
- More space should have been given to debunking the TPP.