Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-02-19 04:36 PM
The opposition’s main policy chief, Joseph Wu, accused Ma of playing political games because only two years ago, the president said Taiwan would need eight years to join the TPP, while now he was saying that the sooner the country could join, the better. Wu insinuated that Ma changed his language because of the approaching November regional and local elections.
The president might also use the TPP campaign as an excuse to push through the service trade pact and an eventual goods trade accord, said Wu, a former Mainland Affairs Council minister. Ma said earlier in the week that he wanted the Legislative Yuan to approve the service trade agreement, signed last June, by the end of March, an order which the DPP called impossible to execute.
“I am worried that President Ma will try and create even more conditions favorable to an eventual meeting with China’s Xi Jinping,” Wu told a news conference Wednesday.
MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi mentioned the hope for a summit last week during his historic meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Taiwan Affairs Office chief Zhang Zhijun. The latter however rejected a Taiwanese suggestion to let the encounter take place during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Beijing later this year. China is unwilling to treat its relationship with Taiwan as an international issue and is therefore unlikely to allow Ma to meet Xi at a multilateral event.
Wu accused Ma of unnecessarily tying up the TPP issue with the passage of the service trade pact. Without a service trade accord with China, there would be no TPP, the president said.
If the Legislative Yuan had still refused to approve the pact, it was because of the procedural problems resulting from the government’s behavior, Wu said. The Ma Administration’s signing of the accord without consulting small and medium enterprises which could bear the brunt of market liberalization was the main reason for public unease about the pact, experts said.
It was the Ma Administration which had not done its homework and made the necessary preparations before signing the deal, so it should not blame the opposition or the Legislative Yuan, Wu said.
The DPP said it had studied the TPP issue and was fully prepared to help Taiwan join the regional trade group.
Turning to Tuesday’s meeting in Beijing between Lien and Xi, Wu said the event had been completely set up by the Chinese side. Xi’s comments respecting Taiwan’s social system and way of life echoed the “One Country, Two Systems” formula the communist government had applied in Hong Kong, Wu said.
Lien’s top aide, Ting Yuan-chao, said the opposition was simplifying and misrepresenting the former vice president’s message. Lien was not a spokesman for Beijing and was only concerned with improving cross-straits relations after years of tension during a DPP government, Ting said.