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Apple Daily: Lack of Transparency Boomerangs

Apple Daily: Lack of Transparency Boomerangs

Taiwan editorial abstract (File 1 of a daily roundup) The U.S. beef storm is approaching Taiwan. The people of Taiwan will have to share the lethality of U.S. retaliation if the country indeed bans imports of U.S. ground beef or bovine offal through an amendment to the Act Governing Food Sanitation.
The consequences are still hard to predict at the moment. But people should brace themselves for possibly frequent retaliations from the United States and China in the future due to the government's mishandling of key policy issues.
National Security Council Secretary-General Su Chi had warned lawmakers that Taiwan could suffer if it unilaterally abrogates an international agreement like the beef import protocol with the U.S.
He is right. But why would the administration secretly sign the pact? If it had put the issue to open debate before sealing the deal, the scenario would have been far different.
The U.S. retaliation could be a justly deserved penalty for the lack of transparency of President Ma Ying-jeou's administration in its governance.
Su and his team should be held accountable for striking the beef trade deal in an opaque and closed-door manner. They deserve to be penalized. But the consequences of their actions have to be assumed by the Legislature and the people as a whole.
Ma's administrative team will also face big troubles. One of the most direct consequences will be its loss of public trust. People have reason to speculate that Ma's administration may strike secret deals with China since it could sign a beef trade accord with the U.S. without prior public discussion or consultation with the Legislature.
(By Sofia Wu)




Updated : 2021-05-10 06:16 GMT+08:00