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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

ECFA spells doom for local service businesses

After signing the proposed economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) with Beijing, Taiwan will have to open most of its service sector businesses to China within a limited period of time.

The production value of Taiwan’s service sector exceeds 70 percent of the nation’s total economic output, and service sector employees make up 60 percent of the total work force. Within the service sector, commercial services — including the retail, wholesale and hospitality industries — account for 20 percent of the nation’s total output. With 2.5 million employees — 25 percent of Taiwan’s work force — it is the sector with the biggest work force.

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Is China as stable as it says it is?

One noticeable aspect about China these days is the cockiness and arrogance of its rulers, which manifests itself both at home and abroad. This has come with a new sense of entitlement about China’s central place in global affairs.

US President Barack Obama’s visit to China last month, where he spent more time than in any other country during his tour of the region, helped confirm Beijing’s conviction about its “manifest destiny” as the new Middle Kingdom.

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Enough talking — let’s see results

In a speech to mark the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) 115th anniversary on Nov. 21, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), in his capacity as party chairman, said the party should be thankful to the people of Taiwan.

“We are extremely grateful to the people of Taiwan who let the KMT, which was out of power for eight years, return as the governing party,” Ma said. “We need to be humble and cherish this precious opportunity. We need to strive to hear the people’s voice and let the people be the real master of the country.”

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It’s time for electoral retribution

While campaigning in Yilan ahead of this Saturday’s local government elections, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) broke a ban on publicly discussing election-related opinion polls when he mentioned support figures for Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidates and those for the opposition.

Since taking control of both the executive and the party, Ma’s behavior has become increasingly irresponsible. If voters do not teach him a lesson in the elections and allow the KMT to emerge unscathed from these blunders, Ma is likely to pay even less attention to public opinion in future.

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Exit Saito, enter uncertainty

The resignation yesterday of Masaki Saito, Japan’s de facto ambassador to Taiwan, marks a new chapter in ailing ties between Tokyo and Taipei. The question is whether this represents a chance for the relationship to start afresh between the Taiwanese government and a new Japanese administration, or augurs a further deterioration.

Saito’s position became increasingly untenable earlier this year after he suggested that Taiwan’s international status is unresolved. The fact that this was true did not lessen the awkwardness of his injection into the debate on Taiwan’s sovereignty and identity. With a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government in power, and no shortage of KMT legislators ready to assail Japan over the smallest perceived slight, Saito learned the hard way that diplomacy and truth-telling are rarely soulmates.

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Taiwan Under Ma Ying-jeou, More Smoke and Mirrors as the Cross-strait Sell Out Continues

As Ma Ying-jeou works his shady cross-strait deals, he tries to flash the carrot of how China will save Taiwan. Forget the fact that the Chinese dumped poisoned milk products etc. on Taiwan. Forget the fact that the great China tourist influx failed. There, not only did the numbers not materialize, but even the few tourists that came, how shall we put it, were cheap. They did not spend much. Certainly not as much as the Japanese or even the Koreans whose tourists Ma should have promoted more in the first place. But let us return to the cross-strait promises. Again, the reality is proving the opposite. Opposite, unless you want to say that under Ma the rich will get richer, but the poor will get poorer. Examine the recent housing news.

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