Presidential adviser resigns over service trade pact

[color=#008000]~~~Mod’s note: This post was edited to include a link, and trim down excess quoted material. [/color]

[quote]Presidential adviser resigns over service trade pact

STRONG WORDS:Rex How said Ma must either be an ‘autocrat’ or ‘impossibly stupid’ not to understand how the pact affects public livelihoods and national security

By Shih Hsiu-chuan / Staff reporter
In a strongly worded letter to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), publisher Rex How (郝明義) resigned as an adviser to Ma, whom he said was either an “autocrat” or was “impossibly stupid.”
How, chairman of Locus Publishing Co (大塊文化), who has been pushing for the government to renegotiate a cross-strait service trade agreement signed on June 21, said he was resigning because of the way the president had dealt with those who oppose the agreement.
taipeitimes.com/News/front/a … 2003568648
[/quote]

Can you please just give a sample paragraph and then link?

Amazing. Just amazing. As the result of secret negotiations, Taiwan’s head of state has set the stage to deliver the country to Peking, and he is still in office.

As amazing as what is going on here in Japan: the current government (which prides itself on being nationalist) is hellbent on signing an agreement that will put US agribusiness on equal footing with Japanese farmers.

“Money talks” has never been so true!

This guy is especially peed off because the new agreement allows Chinese publishers and printing companies to operate in Taiwan. The agreement should not have much effect on Taiwan.

Still he has a point about the undemocratic nature of this government and lack of transparency. Why choose certain industries and not others? why not do impact assessment beforehand?
I also fail to see why reviewing the items in this agreement would damage negotiations with other countries.

Indeed.
I have edited the original post to make it more presentable, and the OP has been advised on how to post a link to an article.

The rhetoric coming from Taipei Times and its master paper, Liberty Times, is really starting to bother me. Their blind hatred of all things Chinese is distorting th problem and driving people to support the absurdity of protectionism. The issue should not be “them Chinese is takin’ our jobs,” it should be about how the Ma administration has been negotiating this pact behind closed doors without any input from the industries it affects. Ma has always been terrible at communicating with the public, hence his impossibly low approval rating. That is what shiuld be criticized here. The green papers meanwhile, by emphasizing how evil China’s going to destroy Taiwan’s businesses, is driving people further into the arms of a protectionist mindset that would oppose liberalization on trade with any country. This and the US beef dispute are dangerous precedents that could hurt foreign investors’ willingness to put cash into Taiwan in the long run.

The articles I read did stress the lack of transparency. But you simply can’t dismiss concerns over China’s intentions to annex Taiwan. They have been clear that these pacts are intended to do just that.

Commonwealth, which is a respected economics magazine, ran an article showing that Chinese officials are buying up farm produce in order to win the hearts of farmers, and line the pockets of officials, inclduing heads of farmers societies. Nothing wrong with that right? Except they aren’t actually selling the produce and fruit in China. They don’t do anything with it. They are using money to distort the market (and drive up food costs in Taiwan to boot) for short term political gain. Hence there is widespread distrust that this latest pact will simply allow the Chinese to come in and buy up control of industries for political purposes. They don’t need to be profitable or efficient.

Hong Kong’s experience with CECA has not been positive either. Inequality has jumped and wages have stagnated.

Your own blind hatred toward whatever is not blindly pro-China is quite disgusting to me.

Your own blind hatred toward whatever is not blindly pro-China is quite disgusting to me.[/quote]

Hok is hardly pro-China. You really need to be a little more aware of where allies are and are not.

Your own blind hatred toward whatever is not blindly pro-China is quite disgusting to me.[/quote]

Hok is hardly pro-China. You really need to be a little more aware of where allies are and are not.[/quote]
Ha ha…Maybe I have bottled up too much rage and it makes me blind.

It’s how they work. When ECFA was signed I said it was like coming home and announcing that you had sold the family car. When the wife asks if you got a good deal you reply “Oh, was I supposed to do that too?”

Just read an article in today’s newspaper that the hair and beauty industry and the food industry have come out in support of the service pact, saying that it will boost business for Taiwanese companies.

Show us the link to that article.

You’ll find I have no pro-China agenda (and there is a reason I live and work in Taiwan). I just like to play the devil’s advocate, and since most users on this forum seem to be predominantly green, I am simply offering a counterpoint. Do note that I have rarely, if ever, praised anything the current or previous administrations have done.

Current situation to this policy is caused by lack of communication. Most Taiwanese get surprised and very upset after knowing government signing this service agreement pack with China. Government actually admit it did not put enough resources and effort on communication and negotiation with industries and public. This issue allows oppoistion takes this chance to against Ma government, try to inflate the impact. Really, I don’t know why government is so urgent to sign this agreement as quickly as possible that end up with lack of communication and moderate policies for suffered industry.

There is no way to solve dispute at this stage. It needs time.

Show us the link to that article.[/quote]

m.chinapost.com.tw/taiwan/2013/0 … -firms.htm

That’s the mobile link, not sure if it’ll work properly on a computer. It’s on the second page of Taiwan news on the CP website if the link doesn’t work.

Bad news! The first sentence says it all:

That makes it sound like there is overwhelming support in the business community. :thumbsdown: China Post, we can see, is still a paragon of journalistic standards, especially when it comes to balanced reporting.

Seriously people, please stop buying this paper.

It’s too bad that support/opposition to this services trade agreement has become yet another blue vs green political football. I wish the agreement could just be evaluated on its merits.

My opinion: I am opposed to it (I’ll bet a lot of you thought I would be for it, since I frequently take a dim view of the DPP). Everything I know about this “agreement” (not much of an agreement since it was all done secretly, which is another good reason to oppose it) tells me it won’t be good for Taiwan. Fact is, something like 80% of the Taiwanese public is employed in service industries. Taiwan lacks a welfare system for the poor, so the “welfare system” consists basically of small mom and pop businesses. I even know out-of-work computer programmers who sell stuff in the night market or run a coffee shop to make a living.

Now the Ma administration signs an agreement to let mainlanders come here and compete for that business. What do the Taiwanese public get out of this deal? Oh, the right to open a noodle shop in Shanghai or Guangzhou. Yeah, I can just imagine my poor neighbors who hawk biandangs from their pickup truck moving to Shanghai and opening a noodle shop - the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is theirs.

What does China get out of this agreement? It looks to me - not much. So maybe they can send a million economic refugees to Taiwan to sell noodles and cut hair. Out of their population of 1.3 billion, that’s a drop in the bucket. But the damage to Taiwan (with less that 1/50 of China’s population) could be severe. Maybe China thinks those economic refugees will influence Taiwan to reunify with the Motherland. I actually think the influence will be the opposite - surely it will drive voters away from the KMT and into the DPP’s arms. Why would China want to do that? I assume they haven’t thought this through - they just assume a mass migration of mainlanders will capture Taiwan for them.

Yeah, a few big businesses are for this agreement. I can see where a chain store in Taiwan might benefit from being able to open branches in Shanghai. But for the vast majority of Taiwanese, this deal just sucks for economic reasons alone.

I assume that Ma signed the deal because his big business supporters (who are heavily invested in China) told him to. I doubt that he even read what he was signing.

Ma has said that this deal is vital so that Taiwan can join the TPP. I’m not sure that Taiwan should. Or any other country. From what little we know of the TPP (the details of that are also secret), it’s mainly an attempt by the USA to get Asian countries to swallow rotten US intellectual property laws (ie software patents, copyright with no expiration dates, revocation of food safety laws, etc) while giving Asian countries almost nothing in return beyond a nice pat on the head. And by the way, does anyone think that the number one cheerleader of the TPP, the USA, is going to sign an agreement to let 20 million Chinese noodle vendors and beauticians move to San Francisco? I don’t think so.

I know I risk being labeled a “protectionist.” So big deal - I proudly wear the title. I can see the benefit of free trade in hard goods, like electronics or commodities, but “services” is something that should be protected if countries find it to their benefit.

I agree with you that the fracture regarding this agreement should not be divided along a party line. It if passes, Chinese massage parlors will spring up in Taipei. It will not be in the interest of Deep Blue wives, who scream hysterically to show their love-for-Chairman Mao type of devotion whenever Ma smiles at them.

[quote=“Dog’s_Breakfast”]It’s too bad that support/opposition to this services trade agreement has become yet another blue vs green political football. I wish the agreement could just be evaluated on its merits.

My opinion: I am opposed to it (I’ll bet a lot of you thought I would be for it, since I frequently take a dim view of the DPP). Everything I know about this “agreement” (not much of an agreement since it was all done secretly, which is another good reason to oppose it) tells me it won’t be good for Taiwan. Fact is, something like 80% of the Taiwanese public is employed in service industries. Taiwan lacks a welfare system for the poor, so the “welfare system” consists basically of small mom and pop businesses. I even know out-of-work computer programmers who sell stuff in the night market or run a coffee shop to make a living.

Now the Ma administration signs an agreement to let mainlanders come here and compete for that business. What do the Taiwanese public get out of this deal? Oh, the right to open a noodle shop in Shanghai or Guangzhou. Yeah, I can just imagine my poor neighbors who hawk biandangs from their pickup truck moving to Shanghai and opening a noodle shop - the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is theirs.

What does China get out of this agreement? It looks to me - not much. So maybe they can send a million economic refugees to Taiwan to sell noodles and cut hair. Out of their population of 1.3 billion, that’s a drop in the bucket. But the damage to Taiwan (with less that 1/50 of China’s population) could be severe. Maybe China thinks those economic refugees will influence Taiwan to reunify with the Motherland. I actually think the influence will be the opposite - surely it will drive voters away from the KMT and into the DPP’s arms. Why would China want to do that? I assume they haven’t thought this through - they just assume a mass migration of mainlanders will capture Taiwan for them.

Yeah, a few big businesses are for this agreement. I can see where a chain store in Taiwan might benefit from being able to open branches in Shanghai. But for the vast majority of Taiwanese, this deal just sucks for economic reasons alone.

I assume that Ma signed the deal because his big business supporters (who are heavily invested in China) told him to. I doubt that he even read what he was signing.

Ma has said that this deal is vital so that Taiwan can join the TPP. I’m not sure that Taiwan should. Or any other country. From what little we know of the TPP (the details of that are also secret), it’s mainly an attempt by the USA to get Asian countries to swallow rotten US intellectual property laws (ie software patents, copyright with no expiration dates, revocation of food safety laws, etc) while giving Asian countries almost nothing in return beyond a nice pat on the head. And by the way, does anyone think that the number one cheerleader of the TPP, the USA, is going to sign an agreement to let 20 million Chinese noodle vendors and beauticians move to San Francisco? I don’t think so.

I know I risk being labeled a “protectionist.” So big deal - I proudly wear the title. I can see the benefit of free trade in hard goods, like electronics or commodities, but “services” is something that should be protected if countries find it to their benefit.[/quote]

Read the text of it again. My understanding is that Chinese employees can only come over when a certain amount of capital is invested (a rather considerable barrier, though I can’t recall the exact amount), so the likelihood of Chinese noodle vendors and street sweepers pouring into Taiwan isn’t very likely. Taiwan’s industries have for far too long been unreasonably protectionist, and I support trade liberalization and knocking down tariffs… But the way this negotiation was done behind closed doors should make anyone uneasy.