China Times Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
June 4, 2015
Executive Summary: On June 1, South Korea signed a free trade agreement (FTA) with Mainland China, scheduled to take effect at year's end. The short-term impact on Taiwan will be limited. Tariff reduction will not go into effect until 2025, nine years after the FTA is implemented. This could encourage the government and the public to underestimate the magnitude of the threat.
Full Text Below:
On June 1, South Korea signed a free trade agreement (FTA) with Mainland China, scheduled to take effect at year's end. The short-term impact on Taiwan will be limited. Tariff reduction will not go into effect until 2025, nine years after the FTA is implemented. This could encourage the government and the public to underestimate the magnitude of the threat, and result in a "boiled frog effect". Alas, Taiwan-based manufacturers cannot afford to take this matter lightly. Panel maker Innolux has urged the government to accelerate cross-Strait negotiations on the follow-up MTA so that Taiwan's flat panel industry can be more competitive. Former SEF chairman Hong Chi-chang thinks that although the impact of the PRC-ROK FTA on Taiwan may not be felt immediately, Taiwan and South Korean exports overlap substantially. Therefore the impact will be all too real. He called on the DPP not to obstruct passage of the STA and MTA, and if necessary, convene an extraordinary session of the Legislative Yuan so that the Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Regulations may be reviewed before the passage of the two agreements.
Tsai Ing-wen has been officially nominated the DPP presidential candidate. On April 20, the DPP held a major issues coordination meeting. It resolved that the DPP chairperson will vigorously promote passage of the Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Regulations. When the time comes, we call on Tsai Ing-wen to don sword and sandals, and do what she pledged to do. She must have the courage to shake the Taiwan independence hardliners on her back, pass the Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Regulations during the current legislative session. This will facilitate review of the STA and MTA.
Alas, Tsai Ing-wen still cannot stand up to Taiwan independence hardliners. She cannot persuade Taiwan Solidarity Union legislators to cease their obstructionism. Tsai boasted that "The DPP would push through the Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Regulations. But the moment she ran into resistance, she took it all back. The Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Regulations bill has once again been frozen. Vigorous promotion has become passive inaction. No matter how big a show she puts on, it will not pass during this legislative session. President Ma Ying-jeou has repeatedly promised to pass the Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Regulations. Both ruling and opposition party leaders have vowed that it will pass. But the legislature continues to mark time. This shows that Tsai Ing-wen is just like Ma Ying-jeou. Both lack the ability to get things done. Some pundits have mocked Tsai Ing-wen as "Ma Ying-jeou 2.0". They are not off the mark.
Some people think the impact of the PRC-ROK FTA is neither as pressing nor as significant as once imagined. They think therefore it can be dealt with next year, after the election. But as presidential office spokesman Chen Yi-hsing noted, the ruling and opposition parites must acknowledge the problem. They must not pretend all is well, and that nothing untoward has happened. They must acknowledge the negative impact on Taiwan's economy. Kurt Tong is Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs at the US Department of State. Last year, when Tong visited Taiwan, he said Taiwan is now officially behind South Korea. If Taiwan does not pick up its pace, it will soon be marginalized by Asian regional integration.
Executive Yuan spokesman Sun Li-chung said that many South Korean and Taiwan industries overlap. Once the supply chain is broken, reconvergence will be difficult. The PRC-ROK FTA will have a huge impact on Taiwan. We must accelerate bilateral trade negotiations with Mainland China and with other governments. We hope the Legislative Yuan will review the Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Regulations as soon as possible.
Following the Sunflower Student Movement, "first pass the legislation, then review it" became de rigeur. |As long as the Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Regulations failed to pass, the STA, MTA, and other agreements will remain blocked. They cannot be submitted for review, therefore cannot be passed. Everything will be reduced to empty talk. Under the circumstances, we are in no position to demand that the Mainland negotiate the MTA as soon as possible. Also, as long as the Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Regulations have not been passed, the situation remains unclear. Under those circumstances, why should the Mainland take MTA talks with Taiwan seriously?
How massive will the impact of the PRC-ROK FTA be? When will it take effect? Do not waste time and energy talking about it. If something can be done to increase Taiwan's industrial competitiveness, add vitality to Taiwan's economy, and avoid being surpassed by South Korea, why not do it? Right now? Why this willingness to debase oneself and forfeit market opportunities? We agree with Hong Chi-chang. The Legislative Yuan should convene an extraordinary session and pass the STA and Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Regulations as soon as possible. .
In fact the Legislative Yuan convened a three week long extraordinary session last June. The KMT legislative caucus wanted to pass the STA, the Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Regulations and the FEPZ Regulations. But green camp obstructionism blocked the way. In the end, only the Examination Yuan and Control Yuan Personnel Appointments Bill was passed. Green Camp leaders hate Mainland China so intensely they have no qualms about strangling Taiwan's economy. They appare genuinely determined to marginalize Taiwan.
Tsai Ing-wen has repeatedly stressed that her premise for cross-Strait relations is "maintaining the status quo". The Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Regulations, the STA, and the MTA, have all been stopped dead by the DPP. Is this the "status quo" Tsai Ing-wen intends to maintain? If she intends to maintain the status quo, why has she instructed the DPP to pass the Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Regulations Bill? Isn't that self-contradictory? Isnt' that saying one thing and doing another?
We prefer to think that Tsai Ing-wen instructed the DPP to pass the Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Regulations Bill for real. We prefer to think that she wanted to prove she has the ability to lead the nation. We call on Tsai Ing-wen to immediately convene an extraordinary session of the Legislative Yuan upon her return to Taiwan. Shake the Taiwan independence hardliners off her back. Remedy the situation as soon as possible. Cooperate with the KMT. Pass the Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Regulations Bill, the STA, and the FEPZ Regulations. The next Legislative Yuan session will involve a budget session and will take place during election season. Negotiations will be subject to endless struggles. It is better to deal with the Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Regulations and STA during this session.
If Tsai Ing-wen wants to prove she is not Ma Ying-jeou 2.0, then she should settle down and instruct the DPP caucus to pass these two bills in the Legislative Yuan, now.
預定年底生效。雖然短期對台影響有限，譬如面板降稅要在FTA實 施後第9年，約2025年才會生效， 政府與社會可能因而降低危機意識，造成
預定年底生效。雖然短期對台影響有限，譬如面板降稅要在FTA實 施後第9年，約2025年才會生效， 政府與社會可能因而降低危機意識，造成「溫水煮青蛙效應」， 但廠商不敢掉以輕心，面板大廠群創就呼籲政府， 加速兩岸後續貨貿談判、生效，讓台灣面板業更具競爭力。 海基會前董事長洪奇昌也認為，中韓FTA對台灣雖沒有立即衝擊， 但台韓出口產品同質性很高，會產生一定的影響。 他呼籲民進黨不要杯葛《服貿協議》和《貨貿協議》， 若有需要立院應召開臨時會，通過《兩岸協議監督條例》， 以利審查前兩項協議。
大議題協調會報，以黨主席身分指示民進黨全力推動完成《 兩岸協議監督條例》的立法。 當時我們就呼籲蔡英文要劍及履及說到做到， 展現魄力擺脫獨派的挾持，在立法院本會期完成《 兩岸協議監督條例》的立法，以利下會期審查《服貿協議》和《 貨貿協議》。
也無力化解台聯立委的杯葛，一句「民進黨全力推動完成《 兩岸協議監督條例》的立法」豪語，遇到阻力後全吞了回去，《 兩岸協議監督條例》草案又被放回冷凍庫， 全力推動變成了消極被動，任憑擺爛，立院本會期是不可能通過了。 總統馬英九也一再宣示要推動完成《兩岸協議監督條例》立法， 朝野兩大領袖雙英都宣示要完成立法，但立法工作卻原地踏步， 顯見蔡英文和馬英九一樣，都缺乏執行力，有人比喻蔡英文是馬英九 2.0，果然不是無的放矢。
也沒有原本預估來的大，可以等明年選後再說。 但正如總統府發言人陳以信所言，朝野應嚴肅面對，不能「 故作輕鬆、若無其事」，必須正視對台灣經濟的負面衝擊； 去年美國國務院經濟暨商務首席副助卿唐偉康訪台時直言，「 台灣已經正式落後南韓」，如果台灣再踱步不前， 將因亞洲區域整合而被邊緣化。
供應鏈一旦斷掉，要再銜接有難度，中韓FTA對台灣衝擊很大， 盼加速與中國大陸及所有國家的雙邊貿易談判， 也希望立法院盡速審查《兩岸協議監督條例》。
兩岸協議監督條例》一日未通過立法， 包括已完成簽署的服貿等協議，以及商談中的《貨貿協議》， 即使簽署了也全部都會被堵住，無法排入審查， 也就不可能付諸實施，一切終歸是空談。在此情況下， 我們有何立場催促大陸趕快談成《貨貿協議》。況且，《監督條例》 未出爐，情況未明，大陸有必要認真和我們談《貨貿協議》嗎？
此時已無須浪費口舌再去爭辯。 如果能夠為台灣產業競爭力注入活水，為台灣經濟添加生機， 避免被南韓大步超前，為什麼現在不馬上做？而要自甘墮落， 把商機市場拱手讓人？因此我們同意洪奇昌的看法， 立院應該加開臨時會，通過《服貿協議》和《兩岸協議監督條例》。
國民黨團就希望能夠通過《服貿協議》、《兩岸協議監督條例》 以及《自由經濟示範區條例》，但在綠營強力杯葛下， 最後只處理考監兩院的人事同意權， 綠營的仇中心態不惜一再扼殺台灣經貿生機， 難道要把台灣推向邊緣化？
那麼現在《監督條例》空轉、《服貿協議》卡關、《貨貿協議》 堵住的現狀，是不是要一直維持下去？如果要維持現狀下去， 那她指示民進黨全力推動完成《兩岸協議監督條例》的立法， 豈不是自打嘴巴，說一套做一套？
的立法，是玩真的。 為了展現和證明具有做為國家領導人的條件和執行能力， 我們呼籲蔡英文訪美回台後，立即發起立院召開臨時會， 擺脫獨派的挾持，亡羊補牢盡快和國民黨合作通過《 兩岸協議監督條例》、《服貿協議》和《自由經濟示範區條例》。 立院下會期是預算會期和選舉季，法案折衝協調起來萬箭攢心， 本會期加開臨時會專心處理《監督條例》和《服貿》 等議題比較可行。