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a further subjugation of Taiwan under China,

failed to secure a referendum on this issue

what political right would Taiwan have to sign

of great national importance. Parliament’s

other free trade agreements?

refusal to acknowledge this motion by the DPP

During the public debate, Tsai Ing-

reconfi rms President Ma’s lean towards China,

long-term

and his sympathy to the One-China policy

consequences that would arise in Taiwan.

proposed by PRC President Hu Jintao in his

Medium and small-sized corporations will

Six Protocols. Signing ECFA means an implied

not benefi t from ECFA, which is more

concession to President Hu’s demands.

wen

also

named

numerous

heavily focused on helping Taiwan’s largest

China remains Taiwan’s largest trading

corporations. Moreover, it will potentially

partner by far, with 70% of Taiwanese exports

damage all local Taiwanese businesses, as

going to China, and so maintaining close

the infl ux of cheap products and labor from

economic ties is essential. However, even

China puts many out of business, particularly

without ECFA, Taiwan still enjoys a strong

in agricultural industries, a key component of

overall economy, with a low defi cit and

Taiwan’s exports. Further job losses will arise

little debt. President Ma and the Taiwanese

as Mainland Chinese white-collar workers

people must come to realize that China is

and

not the only solution to Taiwan’s problems,

professionals

relocate

to

Taiwan.

These features of ECFA are uncomfortably close parallels to CEPA (Closer Economic

Medium and small-sized corporations will not beneÀt from ECFA

Partnership Agreements), signed between China and its special administrative regions, Hong Kong and Macau. After CEPA was implemented,

Hong

Kong’s

wealth

gap

has widened; Hong Kong today has one of

especially

the highest Gini coeffi cients in the world.

about

if

President Ma’s boast of generating 263,000

made. President Ma has been successful in

new jobs in Taiwan fails to include these

easing tensions with Beijing by focusing on

losses, and even today he has no tangible

economic issues since he took power, but

solutions to address their impact.

this has come at the cost of failing to protect

Taiwan’s

fundamental existence

concessions need

to

be

Ma has also not been clear on whether

Taiwan’s sovereignty. Ignoring the political

any political concessions need to be made

implications of signing ECFA to focus only on

by signing this agreement; evidently there

achieving stronger economic ties with China

are. DPP opposition leaders criticize ECFA as

will have dire consequences. If Taiwan is to

being another one of President Ma’s policies

maintain its current state and build trust with

towards eventual reunifi cation with China.

its people, Ma must properly consider these

Since Ma’s election in 2008, Taiwan has

consequences and off er solutions to them as

already negotiated 14 diff erent cross-strait

quickly as possible before it is too late.

agreements, and Ma’s plans for “cultural”

As much as one can disagree with ECFA,

and “educational” ECFAs suggest that his

it has already been implemented, so it is

ambitions do not stop here. The central issue

now up to the government to manage terms

with this consolidation is the secession of

that will ultimately be advantageous to the

Taiwan’s sovereignty and respect for basic

Taiwanese economy and people, without

human rights: the Fifth Freedom of the Air

the cost of further political concessions. As

was denied to Taiwan, meaning that China will

stated succinctly by DPP Chairwoman Tsai,

remain the main hub for all passenger routes,

everything that Taiwan does “should be

with Taiwan acting merely as a stopover. An

looking to face China through the world, and

undemocratic approval process is rampant,

not face the world through China.” iBR

as a 100,000-man protest on June 26, 2010

FA L L 2 0 1 0

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I N T E R N AT I O N A L B U S I N E S S R E V I E W

59

11/27/2010 3:13:22 PM

Profile for Daniel Hellwig

International Business Review - Fall 2015  

Fall edition of the IBR magazine at the Wharton School.

International Business Review - Fall 2015  

Fall edition of the IBR magazine at the Wharton School.

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