China Times Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
January 27, 2016
Executive Summary: The newly elected Legislative Yuan will convene on February 1. The DPP will enjoy a legislative majority. This will present a major challenge for cross-Strait relations. We hope the DPP legislative caucus will look after Taiwan businessmen as the first step in its cross-Strait policy optimization. As for the KMT caucus, it should stand behind Taiwan businessmen, as it always has.
Full Text Below:
The newly elected Legislative Yuan will convene on February 1. The DPP will enjoy a legislative majority. This will present a major challenge for cross-Strait relations. We hope the DPP legislative caucus will look after Taiwan businessmen as the first step in its cross-Strait policy optimization. As for the KMT caucus, it should stand behind Taiwan businessmen, as it always has.
We are making this appeal because Taiwan businessmen were treated like outsiders during the recent presidential and legislative elections. Also, the election results may alienate Taiwan businessmen. Therefore we remind the two major parties, as well as other parties in the legislature. Keep Taiwan businessmen in your hearts. Remain their staunch advocates. After all, Taiwan businessmen are members of the Taiwan public. Their contribution to Taiwan's economy is immense.
Taiwan businessmen on the Mainland played a minuscule role in the recent elections. One leader of Taiwan businessmen on the Mainland named Lin returned to Tainan to run for legislator. But he lost by a landslide. The two largest parties, the DPP and KMT, nominated legislators at large, including overseas representatives of Taiwan businessmen. But none of them were Taiwan businessmen on the Mainland. Only 100,000 Taiwan businessmen returned to Taiwan to vote. They had virtually no impact on the election.
During the recent election, the DPP won both the presidency and a controlling majority in the legislature. It now enjoys “Total Rule”. This worries many Taiwan businessmen. Cross-Strait relations may be destabilized. Even more importantly, their individual rights may be jeopardized if Taiwan's political arena no longer comes to their aid. The DPP has long demonized Taiwan businessmen. Will the DPP change its attitude? Taiwan businessmen are deeply concerned.
Taiwan businessmen are particularly interested in the the follow-up agreement to ECFA, i.e., the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement.
Continued promotion requires the DPP to take the lead. If the DPP refuses, or complicates matters, it will set back the transformation and upgrading of Taiwan businessmens' industries.
The two sides have already signed the STA, or Cross-Strait Agreement on Trade in Services. But it remains stuck pending review by the newly elected Legislative Yuan. Now that the DPP has won the election, it has new plans for the legislature. It intends first to pass the Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Regulations, then review the STA. The DPP has already called for passage of the Oversight Regulations as one of its first acts in the legislature. But will it drag in the issue of the two sides' political status, as it has always? Will it delay the legislative process? That remains to be seen. DPP Legislative Yuan heavyweights have suggested that the STA may need to be “renegotiated". This leaves a huge question mark. Those in the know, realize that the Mainland must be satisfied with how cross-Strait relations are defined. Otherwise resuming STA negotiations will be impossible.
The Ma government has completed negotiations on most items in the MTA. Further negotiation is required only on a few key items. When will the MTA be signed? When will the “final mile” be reached? That depends on Tsai Ing-wen, DPP President-elect. It depends on whether she is willing to clearly recognize the 1992 Consensus. If she is not, the MTA is likely to remain stalled. At the very least, the Mainland side will substantially increase its "ask", leaving our side overwhelmed.
Does the DPP intend to look after Taiwan businessmen on the Mainland? If so, it should implement the ECFA follow-up agreement. It should avoid renegotiating the STA from scratch. It should adopt the current version. It should also adopt the concurrently proposed Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Regulations. The ball is currently in Taiwan's court. To implement it, the Legislative Yuan need only follow legislative procedure. Doing so will help Taiwan businessmen on the Mainland. Doing so will help the two sides reach final agreement on the MTA.
The DPP legislative caucus must look after Taiwan businessmen. It must pass the Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Regulations. It must adopt the current version of the STA. It must listen to Taiwan businessmen. It must invite representatives of Taiwan businessmen on the Mainland to convey their desires to the legislature, as important points of reference.
The DPP legislative caucus must take the interests of Taiwan businessmen on the Mainland to heart. If it does, it will have something in common with the KMT legislative caucus. This could ease past partisan bickering. It could show that the DPP has improved its cross-Strait policy, that it has forsaken populist demagoguery, and is now dealing with ECFA, so badly needed by Taiwan businessmen on the Mainland.
Recently Tsai Ing-wen was in Hsinchu County thanking voters for their support. She said “Taiwanese” should unite to form a powerful "Team Taiwan". If so, Taiwan businessmen should be key members of her call for unity. The DPP must look after Taiwan businessmen on the Mainland. It must offer a new vision of cross-Strait relations.
新立法院政黨結構由民進黨占多數，將是兩岸關係的一大挑戰。 我們期待，立院民進黨團應積極照顧大陸台商，作為該黨「優化」 其兩岸政策的第一步。至於國民黨團，自應一如既往，力挺台商。
是鑒於大陸台商在這次總統和立委大選中，彷如局外人， 且選舉結果，亦可能使大陸台商疏離於台灣政治圈； 因而要提醒立法院的兩大黨及其他各政黨，在立法工作中， 務必把大陸台商放在心裡，且應該要為台商權益強力發聲，畢竟， 大陸台商是不折不扣的台籍民眾，且對台灣經濟影響很大。
雖有一位在大陸擔任台商團體幹部的林姓台商， 回台南參選區域立法委員，但以很大票數差距敗選。民、 國兩大黨提名的不分區立委名單，各有一位海外台商代表， 但都不是大陸台商。這次大陸台商回台投票不足10萬人， 對選情幾無影響力。
這使頗多大陸台商感到憂心忡忡，除擔心兩岸關係震盪不安外， 更擔心自己的切身權益保障事項，在台灣政壇已無奧援。 他們也想起，民進黨過去對待大陸台商，曾有非常尖銳的負面評價； 現在的民進黨能否大幅調整以往的態度，他們心中仍有不小的憂慮。
兩岸經濟合作架構協議》）後續協議的推動工作， 需要民進黨方面接棒進行；要是民進黨意願不高，或是橫生枝節， 將重挫台商持續發展及轉型升級的動能。
在立院，正待新一屆立院予以審議。 民進黨勝選後新訂定的立法計畫，是要先進行《兩岸協議監督條例》 的立法，再據此審查《兩岸服貿協議》。雖然民進黨已將上述《 監督條例》，列為首批立法項目之一，但是否會在立法伊始， 就扯出兩岸政治定位爭議，而導致立法進程遲滯，目前是未知數。 甚至，民進黨立法院重要人士放話，《服貿協議》要「重啟談判」， 更是一大變數。明眼人皆知， 除非兩岸關係定位達成令陸方滿意的共識，要重啟服貿談判， 是不可能實現的。
馬政府目前已完成大多數貨品類項的談判，只剩下少數關鍵類項， 尚需雙方討價還價一番。《兩岸貨貿協議》洽簽的「最後一哩路」， 何時可以開步到達終點，端視民進黨的總統當選人蔡英文， 何時能就是否針對認同九二共識問題，提出更明確的正面說法。 若無，《兩岸貨貿協議》洽簽工作很可能會停擺下去， 至少陸方會大幅提高「要價」，使我方難以招架。
後續協議。其中，《兩岸服貿協議》若能不重啟談判， 而沿用既有版本，則連同其前提性的《兩岸協議監督條例》， 目前均是操之在台方，只要立院通過相關立法程序，即可正式實施； 這樣不但能使大陸台商早日獲益，也會正面影響《兩岸貨貿協議》 的最後洽簽議程。
大旗，且以此原則來進行《兩岸協議監督條例》的立法， 及據此接受及審議《兩岸服貿協議》既成版本； 過程中應該多多舉辦大陸台商聽證會，分批邀請大陸台商代表， 來立法院表述心聲和願望，以作為重要的立法參據。
那就和國民黨團有了交集，可望緩和以往慣見的「政黨惡鬥」， 也表示民進黨的兩岸政策有了創新及優化的內容。 切莫再用泛政治化的民粹眼光，去看待大陸台商亟需的《 兩岸經貿合作協議》。
變成強而有力的「台灣隊」。既然如此， 大陸台商也應該是她要團結的重要對象。 民進黨實有必要從照顧大陸台商的角度出發， 來試圖為兩岸關係開新局。