U.S. Beef Imports: Classic DPP Political Farce
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
July 27, 2012
Summary: Remember the U.S. beef imports farce. It reveals the true nature of the DPP. It enables one to understand the DPP's deceit. Because it is the one thing that never changes. Everything the DPP does is a variation on the U.S. beef imports farce. Our only question is, when will the DPP search its conscience and change its ways? When will it forsake its U.S. beef imports tactic and get serious about governing the nation?
Full Text below:
The U.S. beef imports bill has passed its third reading. Future generations must remember this farcical chapter in our political history. Otherwise, we will have learned nothing from the experience.
The U.S. beef imports farce began six years ago, with an absurd decision. In 2006, a number of people on the Chinese mainland died from Clenbuterol treated pork. The Chen Shui-bian government seized the opportunity to show that Taiwan's food safety was superior to Mainland China's. On his personal whim, he banned Ractopamine. As it turned out however, the people on the Mainland died from highly toxic Clenbuterol. The Chen Shui-bian government in its befuddlement, had banned Ractopamine treated U.S. beef imports. The government had never before banned U.S. beef imports. The Chen government took office in 2000. The public continued to ingest Ractopamine treated US beef for the next six years. The ban made no sense whatsoever. It merely created friction between Taipei and Washington. The Chen Shui-bian government responded to Washington. In 2007, it informed the World Trade Organization (WTO) that it was allowing the import of US beef, pork, and organ meats, on condition Ractopamine residues did not exceed 50 pbb. It also ordered quarantine agencies to "inspect pork but not beef." As a result, consumers on Taiwan ingested at least 100,000 tons of Ractopamine treated beef.
The DPP bent over backwards to abet the import of U.S. beef products. But as soon as it fell from power, it did a complete about face. It totally disowned its own policy. It now referred to U.S. beef as "poisoned beef." It now demanded a "zero tolerance" policy on Ractopamine. Eventually this farce reached its climax. The DPP staged a brute force, five day four night long occupation of the Legislative Yuan podium. It threatened to draw blood. It vowed to resist "poisoned beef." It swore to protect the lives of fellow citizens.
The U.S. beef imports bill passed its third reading on the 24th of this month. Suddenly we heard nothing more from the DPP about "shedding blood to resist poisoned beef." Suddenly, events took another turn. The United Nations Codex Alimentarius (CAC) voted on July 5. It set a 10 ppb limit on Ractopamine residues.
The DPP used this vote as a pretext to backpedal. Its behavior was ludicrous and shameless. First the DPP referred to U.S. beef as "poisoned beef." It demanded a "zero tolerance" policy. The DPP used the CAC vote to miraculously relabel "poisoned beef" as "approved beef." Suddenly the DPP no longer considered the 10 pbb approved by the CAC "poison." It no longer demanded a "zero tolerance" policy. Yet the day before, it denounced the 10 pbb called for by the KMT as "poison." It demanded a "zero tolerance" policy. The CAC has long been the EU livestock industry's political barricade against U.S. beef imports. The DPP knew this. It also knew Taipei's political situation. It knew we could not afford to play the same game as the EU. Suppose the CAC failed to arrive at a conclusion this year, just as it failed to arrive at any conclusion for the past four years? Would the DPP have occupied the Legislative Yuan podium in perpetuity?
The DPP has packed up its sleeping bags and decamped from legislature floor. It has abruptly changed its tune. It now says "The party has agreed to adopt international standards, and remain apace with the international community." The past six years have been a mockery. They have torn society apart. They have forced society to pay an inestimable social cost. In fact, the "international standards" were already in place. Over 100 countries and 300 million U.S. consumers already amounted to "international standards." The CAC standard was merely a belated reaffirmation of the existing standard. The entire process was a monumental charade. The real reason it occurred was that the DPP has no standards. For six long years, the DPP treated the public like idiots and played them for fools.
The U.S. beef imports issue is a classic example of DPP absurdity. ECFA is another. Between November 2nd and November 7th, 2008, ARATS President Chen Yunlin visited Taiwan. The DPP waved banners reading "Communist bandits, go home!" They launched a seven day long protest. They eventually occupied the lobby of a luxury hotel. Protestors outside threw Molotov cocktails, rocks, and even human excrement. They injured 164 police officers. Even the ambulances could not keep up. Since then, the DPP has continued to launch large scale demonstrations and protests, opposing direct links, Mainland tourists visiting Taiwan, and ECFA. It refers to these as "Trojan Horses," as "forfeiting sovereignty and demeaning the nation," as "pandering to [Mainland] China and selling out Taiwan." But when Tsai Ing-wen ran for president this year, she did a 180 degree about face. She declared that "The DPP accepts ECFA, in toto." She declared that "if the DPP returns to power, it will continue the cross-Strait policy of the previous administration." What was this, if not another U.S. beef imports farce?
First the DPP vowed to "shed blood resisting poisoned beef." Then it agreed to "accept international standards." First the DPP denounced ECFA as "pandering the [Mainland] China and selling out Taiwan." Then it vowed to "continue the cross-Strait policy of the previous administration." First it drew blood from police officers in the streets of Taipei, in November 2008. Then it occupied the Legislative Yuan podium in June 2012 and held an impromptu slumber party on the Legislative Yuan floor. Why is the DPP able to insult the public's intelligence? Why is the public on Taiwan willing to tolerate such abuse from the DPP?
Actually, inconsistency and flip-flopping is part of the DPP's makeup. When it was in power, it sang the praises of the Kuo Kuang Petrochemical Plant Project. When it found itself out of power, it reneged on everything it said. When it was in power, it supported the Number Four Nuclear Plant, and rushed to meet construction deadlines. When it found itself out of power, it sang the praises of a "nuclear-free homeland." When it was in power, it proclaimed the "Five Noes." When it found itself out of power, it changed its tune and spoke of "one country on each side." Every one of these is an iteration of the U.S. beef imports farce. Only the name of the play has changed. Only the scenery has changed. The plot is the same. If the DPP is not reneging on its word, then it is throwing up a smoke screen. Such is the nature of the DPP.
Remember the U.S. beef imports farce. It reveals the true nature of the DPP. It enables one to understand the DPP's deceit. Because it is the one thing that never changes. Everything the DPP does is a variation on the U.S. beef imports farce. Our only question is, when will the DPP search its conscience and change its ways? When will it forsake its U.S. beef imports tactic and get serious about governing the nation?