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China Times: Trends in Taiwan's public opinion

China Times: Trends in Taiwan's public opinion

Taiwan editorial abstract (File 3 of a daily roundup) Taiwan and China recently held their first round of formal talks on the proposed economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) . We want to analyze two aspects of the deal and give Beijing some advice.
The greatest difference between the two sides lies in whether Taiwan should open its market to 830 currently banned agricultural products from China to normalize cross-Taiwan Strait agricultural trade.
Logically, economic and trade normalization is a precondition for special regional trade cooperation. But Taiwan's situation is rather special and should not be reasoned out using "common sense." Most of Taiwan's agriculture is based in the south, the stronghold of the green camp. With serious confrontation between the blues and greens, the issue of agricultural liberalization touches the most sensitive nerves. Any mishandling of it could trigger a disastrous storm in Taiwan.
An even more sensitive issue is whether signing an ECFA will help Taiwan achieve progress in signing free trade agreements (FTAs) with other countries. According to the mainstream interpretation in Taiwan, the question concerns whether Taiwan will be "Hong-Kongized." If Taiwan cannot sign FTAs with major countries after signing an ECFA, the public's doubts over "Hong Kongization" will be validated.
The situation could become even harder to manage if the signing of the ECFA is interpreted as a forerunner of "one country, two systems." Many polls show that 70-80 percent of the people in Taiwan do not accept "one country, two systems." Such a clear mainstream public opinion reflects the misgiving deep down in the hearts of the majority of people. Chinese authorities must see clearly the trends in Taiwan's public opinion and prevent making any mistaken decision based on mistaken interpretations. (Jan. 30, 2010) (By Y.F. Low)




Updated : 2021-07-31 14:25 GMT+08:00