Archive for the ‘ECFA’ Category

The Devil is in The Details

As more information about ECFA come out, it becomes clearer how terrifying it is.  What people focused on before (the economic side, “early harvest” lists etc) are actually quite miniscule comparing to the core problems of ECFA.

As indicated by 大話新聞, in section 3a and 3b,  clause 11 and 13 of ECFA is a total sell out!

One clause states that anything signed afterward under the ECFA framework automatically considered part of ECFA.  This basically gives the free reign to KMT and CCP leaders over what pacts to sign without any public supervision if ECFA is passed.  The other clause setup an organization (經合會) governed jointly by KMT and CCP.  Note that this basically replace the WTO platform, and once gain, it’s KMT and CCP, not government to government.  Therefore, once again, there is no supervision to this organization, and it gives KMT leaders significant power outside and above the government.

There might even be other clauses that can cause significant disadvantages to Taiwan which we don’t even know yet.

The only hope to actually stop it is, of course, DPP winning both the legislature yuan in 2011 and presidency in 2012.  However, KMT and CCP might still find ways to manipulate Taiwan economically and politically.  All I can say is that the biggest danger ECFA causes is not the economic problems, even thought they could be significant, but political problems because ECFA simply exists outside of the system.  Here, we also once again witness KMT’s worst habits of equating the party as the government.  KMT could devastate Taiwan’s democratic system if it is not stopped in time.

One thing that really puzzles me is how fearless Ma and 江丙坤 is.  The flaws in ECFA is so obvious and alarming, they really have a lot of guts putting them in.  Especially 江 because his son is doing business in China.  Do they feel that Taiwanese won’t care?  Or are they naive?  Or maybe they think others are stupid?  I don’t really know.

KMT Really Likes to Misinterpret Others’ Idea

http://money.chinatimes.com/news/news-content.aspx?id=20100630001577&cid=1210

KMT is once again at it.  Now Ma invite a bunch of economics and business “masters” to Taiwan, to create the sense that all the masters support ECFA etc.  The problem is, do these masters truly understand what ECFA is?  Do they know the political implication, not just economic implication?

Furthermore, do Ma really understand these “master’s” work?

I think the answers to all these questions are NO.

While I really like the work of some of these masters, such as Michael Porter’s “On Competition,” I really don’t see how some of these work can be link to ECFA or an economic policies that depends on China.  For example, you can actually uses the theories and principles in “On Competition, ” such as the Diamond theory, combined with the past experience and current situation of Taiwan to argue against policies similar to ECFA.  Furthermore, “On Competition” emphasizes the importance of industry cluster and  the role government has in it, not on FTA or shit like ECFA.  And I have no fucking clue how Christensen’s work can be related to ECFA at all.   As for 大前研一, I think he is full of it.  So I don’t really care what he says.

Also, as pointed out by Ghost_twtw in another one of his nice blog, No ECFA (No FTA) does not mean NO TRADE.  Japan and the US trades a lot with each other but they have no FTA.  However, KMT is now trying to lose people’s focus and equate NO ECFA with NO TRADE.  Any rational people will know immediately this is BS, but as shown before during 2008 presidential election, KMT media can turn pure BS into gold (people who forgot can go to YouTube and immerse themselves in Ma’s presidential election campaign commercial once again)…and some morons will actually believe in them.  Therefore, DPP needs to be aware of this tactics used by KMT and counter effectively.

Ah…Where is A-Bian When You Need One

http://www.libertytimes.com.tw/2010/new/jun/30/today-e14.htm

Stock falls…that is not surprising.  What is surprising for the pan-blue is perhaps why signing ECFA did not boost the stock.  The only stocks that went up are the airlines. While many factors affect the stock price of airlines, one has to wonder if ECFA boost their stocks.  But does Taiwan really wants more air traveling between Taiwan and China?  Right now there are far more Taiwanese flying to China than Chinese flying to Taiwan.  More air travel could mean devastation to the domestic service sector.  But Taiwan probably does not want more Chinese tourism neither, given that already with small number some Chinese tourists are wreaking havoc in Taiwan.  So what’s the benefit, for Taiwan, of airlines doing more business with China?  Probably none.

The pan blue media, unlike during the Chen administration era when they just blame every stock market fall on domestic policies or on Chen himself, start to blame it on Europe this time.  Errr…yea, Europe.  What the heck does Europe have to do with Taiwan I don’t really know.  I mean…come on, the financial crisis has been going on for 2 years there already.

And…who is that guy that said during election that TAIEX can reach 20,000 if Ma got elected, and later said it’s a JOKE?

I wonder if those so-called analyst missed the good old time.  It is quite an easy to explain everything with A-Bian after all.  Ah, where is President Chen when you need one…

So…ECFA is About Politics After All…lol

Report from pro-KMT UDN.  Ma said ECFA is a step in creating peace.  So…the question is, before KMT and Ma said ECFA is about economics, and economics and politics should be separated.  But now Ma said ECFA creates peace…but peace is obviously a political term and a political status.

So just exactly what ECFA is for?  It looks like even Ma and the KMT themselves are totally confused.

All I can say is whatever Ma says is a bunch of horse shit.

UPDATE: Further evidences regarding the same matter.

Which Opinion Poll Did BBC Use?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/asia_pacific/10442557.stm

Quote “There have been some street protests in Taiwan against the deal but opinion polls suggest the majority on the island are in favour.”

And…which opinion poll is that, BBC?  Because I don’t see a poll of authority that clearly indicate majority for-ECFA exist.  Is BBC just using a poll from the government or some pan-blue media?  Once again foreign media shows bias and their lack of knowledges in Taiwan.

KMT Using the Same Strategy Once Again

If one bother to read the pro-China and pro-KMT’s China Times, one will notice now KMT is once again trying to use the “WE ARE THE SAME” strategy.  Now this shitty newspaper is trying to project the impression that Su and DPP do not really opposes ECFA.  They only do that to win pan green votes etc.

This smear strategy is actually quite clever.  If it succeeds, it brings KMT a few benefits:

  1. KMT can now justify ECFA and its inappropriate process.  Thus it decreases resistance and help Ma low rating.
  2. KMT can stabilize its own support.

This is the similar to the “pan blue and pan green both suck” slogan strategy pan blue uses for years.  Granted, there are scums in both parties, just like there are bad people in any organization and society.  However, that does not mean “both sucks.”  KMT’s structural problem is rooted in its core and that makes the party much worse than DPP.  This can be easily observed from its organizational structure and the lousy performance KMT had in many of its governed area for many years.

The only problem for the KMT of course is…who the hell is actually believing in what China Times says nowadays anyway.  It is run by a pro-CCP owner after all.

Lee: Give up Ma to Save Taiwan

Ex-president Lee (李登輝) made a pretty powerful speech during the 626 demonstration.  The catch phrase that outline the goal “五都全贏 棄馬保台” (Rough Translation: Win all 5 Metro election, Give up Ma to Save Taiwan) is simple, clear and powerful.

Also mentioned in the video:

  • Adding to this,  林義雄 has became the advisor of Su’s (蘇貞昌) election compaign.
  • Dalai Lama asked “what exactly is Taiwan’s direction?” 

Many respectful elders have now urge Taiwanese, in words and in action, to turn the course.  The impacts could be great.  It would be interesting to see the later development.

We Need Hope

The 626 demonstration proceeded under the rain and grey sky of Taipei.  The worries and anxiety created by ECFA is great among many in the society.  Some hardcore pan blue supporters and some of those retired people don’t give a fuck and disregarded the worries simply as “they don’t even know what ECFA is.”  As if they are superior and more educated.  But are they?   They are the ones that are removed away from the reality of Taiwan and  got shielded by KMT’s considered resources and propaganda.  Do these people who consider themselves superior know what ECFA is?  Do they know its purpose?  Why?  and why now? 

IMO, they know far less than anyone else.  Many that opposes ECFA has good and solid reasons.  Some oppose it because they know ECFA will erode Taiwan’s sovereignty.  Some oppose it because of the decreasing wage and job opportunities ECFA will bring in many sectors.  I personally worries about the possibility of Chinese banks come in and messing up Taiwan’s finance and economies (by giving money to pro-China business, which will create unfair advantages and screw up the competition system in Taiwan).  Some oppose it because it proceeded outside the WTO system and therefore lacks 3rd party arbiter support and can create huge problems for Taiwan.  It does not matter which angles you look at ECFA, the impact and potential danger it brings to the Taiwan is great, because now China has all the initiative.

The more I analyze  it and the more I tried to put all the pieces together, the more I fear for Taiwan’s future.  And I am sure quite many people feel the same way.

However, worries itself cannot solve any problem and cannot help our situation.  Pan green needs to find a good counter measure and damage control to the problems created by ECFA.  This is now absolutely necessary because it looks like KMT is forcing it through no matter what (the last line of defense is the Legislative Yuan.  Some KMT legislators express their discontent about the ECFA, but they are the minority.  Since KMT now has absolute majority, I do not hold high hope for Legislative Yuan).  When the time is right, pan green has to publish these ideas effectively. 

It is essential to bring hope to counter Ma’s one way ticket to China.  Only then can pan green rally even more support.

Foxconn Suicide and ECFA

http://www.libertytimes.com.tw/2010/new/may/31/today-s1.htm

I think this is an extremely well written article.  While the foreign media probably still puzzling over the whole incident of Foxconn suicides, Liberty Times have taken a quite insightful look and point out the dilemma faced by Taiwanese business and the problems it creates for Taiwanese economy.

IMO, companies like Foxconn has done great damage to Taiwan’s economy.  Business in Taiwan suffers because the constant price war waged by Foxconn.  Employees suffer because the high number of outsourcing done by Foxconn has added to the downward pressure to the wages in Taiwan.  The only people that gain from this are probably the investors and the US consumers.  However, even US consumers probably didn’t gain much because at the same time they are enjoying the low prices of iPhone they are losing a lot of job opportunities.

Investors gain, but how much?  And how long can this gain be sustained?  And beside, most of the company is owned by Mr. Kou himself.  The profit margin of Foxconn is very low, which means a slight increases in wages of its workers can cost the company a great deal.  Furthermore, it’s obvious now that Chinese government is trying to weaken Foxconn in order to help domestic producers (Chinese government has used this tactics again and again in the past against foreign companies…ie, copy and learn from them first, then replace them with domestic counter part).  Where would Foxconn go from here…is worth observing?  Would it change its business strategy?  or stick to its gun and kiss more Chinese government’s ass?  I guess we will have to wait and see.

The Foxconn incidents should be a warning to the Taiwanese, especially when considering about ECFA.  IMO, Taiwanese economy does not need ECFA.  It does not even need more FTA (although many people, include those in DPP think FTA with Japan and the US would be great, IMO, FTA is not the top priority).  I think what Taiwan really needs is re-investment into Taiwan (government policies that encourage domestic investment instead of capital outflow) + gradual upgrades of industries (including soft skills such as marketing, innovation…the ability to pioneer and produce directly to the consumers instead of just working for foreign companies) -> lower unemployment with higher wages.  My knowledge is limited so I can’t say for sure this is the perfect way to go, but I think these types of things are more important, valid and less risky than lunatic’s shortcut like ECFA.   Furthermore, although not immediately, it solves the right problem Taiwan is facing now – low wage and unemployment, which ECFA completely fail to address anyway.

Clear and Concise Questionings of Reasoning Behind ECFA

http://www.hi-on.org.tw/bulletins.jsp?b_ID=99589

A simple but powerful questioning of the logic and reasons behind ECFA.  This piece was posted in Chinese before but now translated to English.

Similarly, in the debate between DPP’s Tsai and KMT’s Ma, many questions have been raised without any proper answers from Ma.  Tsai gave out some pretty good alternatives of Taiwan’s future in terms of trade relations.  Furthermore, Ma stumbled on some logical issue once again.  Because first he accuse DPP of 鎖國,but later accuse DPP of allowing some 400 agriculture products to be imported into Taiwan, while so far KMT allowed none?!?!  The logical problem is you cannot be 鎖國 while opening up for agriculture trade.  Furthermore, the accusations are all “partial truth lie.”  In terms of 鎖國, it is completely BS.  Apparently in KMT’s mind, not furthering opening up to ONLY China in trade and FDI because of security and strategic reasons means 鎖國.  In terms of opening up for agriculture products, they are opened under WTO entry conditions, and is opened for the world, not just China.

Update: Another logical hole in Ma’s argument.