Calls for safeguards surge as Taiwan enters post-ECFA era

Taiwan Church News | October 11 17, 2010

Calls for safeguards surge as Taiwan enters post-ECFA era

Reported by Chiou Kuo-rong, Sam Lee
Written by Lydia Ma

Despite much controversy, the Ma administration proceeded to sign an
Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) with China effective September 12, 2010, and Taiwanese people woke up to find themselves plunged into a post-ECFA era.

Many in Taiwan fear that ECFA will turn Taiwan into another Hong-Kong
and urged the Legislative Yuan to establish safeguards to protect Taiwanese
people’s rights. A Cross-Strait Agreement Watch (CSAW) organization was created through the coming together of many social organizations.

CSAW urged for policies to be enacted that would protect the human
rights of both Taiwanese and Chinese workers, as well as their safety and basic freedoms.

Much haggling has taken place since then between the KMT and the DPP
over specific, regulatory policies related to ECFA, but a chief complaint from the
DPP camp has been that usual protocols that’d be followed when two countries are negotiating regulations surrounding foreign investments and trade have either been dismissed or tactically glossed over by the KMT-dominated Legislative Yuan.

Responding to the Ma administration opening the floodgates to Chinese
workers, PCT [Presbyterian Church in Taiwan] Associate General Secretary Lyim Hong-tiong underscored that President Ma had once promised there wouldn’t be an influx of Chinese workers when ECFA is passed. He added that the latest about-face is merely another indication of this administration’s lack of integrity.

Lyim said the current national unemployment rate is already very high
and it’s unwise for the government to open Taiwan’s job market to Chinese workers. But if it is already a fait accompli, he stressed that native and foreign laborers should at least be given equal pay if they do the same type and amount of work.

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source: PCT