Alexa

Taiwan should discuss separate issues with China instead of ECFA: DPP

Taiwan should discuss separate issues with China instead of ECFA: DPP

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan should be discussing specific economic issues with China separately, not in the context of an overall Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, a former opposition Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker said Monday.
Julian Kuo made the statement during a televised debate between government and opposition as a preparation for the debate between President Ma Ying-jeou and DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen expected later this month.
Kuo said that after ECFA, multinational corporations setting up offices in China would be able to cover the whole world because China had signed Free Trade Agreements with many countries, while in Taiwan, the global companies would only have direct access to its big communist neighbor. Taiwan would become a marginal appendage to China, he said.
Therefore, it was necessary for the government to conclude FTAs with other nations simultaneously with ECFA, though if Beijing opposed, it could sign each trade accord separately, Kuo said.
Globalization should be more than just concentrating on China, he said. Taiwan’s current problems were domestic investment and employment, and ECFA would do nothing about either, Kuo said.
The former lawmaker accused the government of underestimating the impact of ECFA on Taiwan’s smaller businesses, in particular its traditional and services sectors.
Chief ECFA negotiator Huang Chih-peng, the director-general of the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Bureau of Foreign Trade, said he had already told China that Taiwan was negotiating FTAs with other countries.
“The question about ECFA is whether the talks are handled well or not, not whether one should go and talk or not,” Huang said.
The trade official and lawmaker Lai Shyh-bao represented the government side in the debate, while Kuo and DPP spokesman Chuang Sho-hang defended the opposition colors. Cable station CTiTV organized the debate and broadcast it live Monday.


Updated : 2021-04-15 12:53 GMT+08:00