icon
kmt logo block 正體中文 | 日本語
block
new icon  
img
title img
about kmt KMT Introduction Chairman's Biography Organization History Charter block
block
img
block block block KMT News block General News block Editorials block Survey block Opinions block block
header image

The Way Tsai Ing-wen Can Demonstrate Leadership

icon2015/06/05
iconBrowse:655

 The Way Tsai Ing-wen Can Demonstrate Leadership

 

China Times Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)

 

A Translation

June 4, 2015

 

Executive Summary:

 

On June 1, South Korea signed a free trade agreement (FTA) with Mainland China, scheduled to take effect at year's end. The short-term impact on Taiwan will be limited. For instance, tariff reduction for flat panels will not go into effect until 2025, nine years after the FTA is implemented. This could encourage the government and the public to underestimate the magnitude of the threat.

 

Full Text Below:

 

On June 1, South Korea signed a free trade agreement (FTA) with Mainland China, scheduled to take effect at year's end. The short-term impact on Taiwan will be limited. For instance, tariff reduction for flat panels will not go into effect until 2025, nine years after the FTA is implemented. This could encourage the government and the public to underestimate the magnitude of the threat, and result in a "boiled frog effect." Alas, Taiwan-based manufacturers cannot afford to take this matter lightly. Panel maker Innolux has urged the government to accelerate cross-Strait negotiations on the follow-up Merchandize Trade Agreement (MTA) so that Taiwan's flat panel industry can be more competitive. Former Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Chairman Hong Chi-chang (洪奇昌) also thinks that although the impact of the PRC-ROK FTA on Taiwan may not be felt immediately, Taiwan and South Korean exports overlap substantially. Therefore, the impact will be all too real. He called on the DPP not to obstruct passage of the Services Trade Agreement (STA) and MTA, and if necessary, convene an extraordinary session of the Legislative Yuan so that the Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Bill must be adopted to facilitate the review and ratification of the two agreements.

 

Tsai Ing-wen has been officially nominated the DPP presidential candidate. On April 20, the DPP held a coordination meeting on major issues. DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) issued instructions to vigorously promote the passage of the Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Bill. At the time, we called on Tsai Ing-wen to don sword and sandals, and do what she pledged to do. She must have the courage to shake the Taiwan independence hardliners on her back, pass the Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Bill during the current legislative session. This will facilitate review of the STA and MTA.

 

Alas, Tsai Ing-wen still cannot stand up to Taiwan independence hardliners. She cannot persuade Taiwan Solidarity Union legislators to cease their obstructionism. Tsai boasted that "The DPP would push through the Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Bill. But the moment she ran into resistance, she took it all back. The Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Bill has once again been frozen. Vigorous promotion has become passive inaction. No matter how big a show she puts on, it will not pass during this legislative session. President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has repeatedly promised to complete the legislative action on Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Bill. Both Ma and Tsai have vowed that it would pass. But the legislature continues to mark time. This shows that Tsai Ing-wen is just like Ma Ying-jeou. Both lack the ability to get things done. Some pundits have mocked Tsai Ing-wen as "Ma Ying-jeou 2.0". They are not off the mark.

 

Some people think the impact of the PRC-ROK FTA is neither as pressing nor as significant as once imagined. They think therefore it can be dealt with next year, after the election. But as presidential office spokesman Chen Yi-hsing noted, the ruling and opposition parites must acknowledge the problem. They must not pretend all is well, and that nothing untoward has happened. They must acknowledge the negative impact on Taiwan's economy. Kurt Tong is Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs at the US Department of State. Last year, when Tong visited Taiwan, he said “Taiwan is now officially behind South Korea.” If Taiwan did not pick up its pace, it would soon be marginalized by Asian regional integration, Tong concluded.

 

Executive Yuan spokesman Sun Li-chung said that many South Korean and Taiwan industries overlap.  Once the supply chain was broken, reconvergence would be difficult, Sun said, adding that the PRC-ROK FTA would have a huge impact on Taiwan. He stated we must accelerate bilateral trade negotiations with Mainland China and with other governments. We hope the Legislative Yuan would review the Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Bill as soon as possible, Sun concluded.  

 

Following the Sunflower Student Movement, “first pass the Oversight Bill, then review the Cross-Strait Agreement” became de rigueur. As long as the Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Bill failed to pass, the STA, MTA, and other agreements will remain blocked. They cannot be submitted for review, therefore, cannot be passed. Everything will be reduced to empty talk. Under the circumstances, we are in no position to demand that the Mainland negotiate the MTA as soon as possible. Also, as long as the Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Bill have not been passed, the situation remains unclear. Under those circumstances, why should the Mainland take MTA talks with Taiwan seriously?

 

How massive will the impact of the PRC-ROK FTA be? When will the impact start to be felt? Do not waste time and energy talking about it. If something can be done to increase Taiwan's industrial competitiveness, add vitality to Taiwan's economy, and avoid being surpassed by South Korea, why not do it right now? Why do we abandon ship in calm waters and forfeit market opportunities? We agree with Hong Chi-chang. The Legislative Yuan should convene an extraordinary session and pass the STA and Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Bill as soon as possible.  

 

In fact, the Legislative Yuan convened a three week long extraordinary session last June. The KMT legislative caucus wanted to pass the STA, the Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Bill and the FEPZ Bill. But green camp obstructionism blocked the way. In the end, the session only dealt with the matter of confirmation of Presidential nominations of Examination Yuan and Control Yuan Personnel members. Green Camp leaders hate Mainland China so intensely they have no qualms about strangling Taiwan's economy. Are they genuinely determined to push Taiwan towards being marginalized?

 

Tsai Ing-wen has repeatedly stressed that her premise for cross-Strait relations was "maintaining the status quo". The Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Bill, the STA, and the MTA have all been stopped dead by the DPP. Is this the "status quo" Tsai Ing-wen intends to maintain? If she intends to maintain the status quo, why has she instructed the DPP to pass the Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Bill? Isn't that self-contradictory? Isn’t that saying one thing and doing another?

 

We prefer to think that Tsai Ing-wen instructed the DPP to pass the Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Bill for real. We call on Tsai Ing-wen to do the following in order to demonstrate and prove that she has the qualities and ability to lead the nation: to push for the immediate convening of an extraordinary session of the Legislative Yuan upon her return to Taiwan; to shake the Taiwan independence hardliners off her back; to remedy the situation as soon as possible; to cooperate with the KMT; to pass the Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Bill and the FEPZ Bill; and to ratify the STA. The next Legislative Yuan session will involve a budget session and will take place during election campaign season. Negotiations will be subject to endless struggles. It is better to deal with the Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Bill and STA during this session.

 

If Tsai Ing-wen wants to prove she is not another Ma Ying-jeou, then she should exude her leadership in the DPP and instruct the DPP caucus to pass these two bills in the Legislative Yuan, now.

(Courtesy of China Times)

iconAttachment : none 


Copyright©2022 Kuomintang Address: No.232~234, Sec. 2, BaDe Rd., Zhongshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan (ROC)  
image