PCT pastors oppose ECFA for Aborigines’ and farmers’ sake

Taiwan Church News | June 28 July 4, 2010

PCT pastors oppose ECFA for Aborigines’ and farmers’ sake

Reported by Lin Yi-ying
Written by Lydia Ma

Many Aborigine pastors were present at the “Referendum on ECFA” march on June 26, 2010.

PCT Indigenous Ministry Committee Program Secretary Rev. Omi Wilang emphasized that, if signing an economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) with China will devastate many Taiwanese industries, then, many Aborigines who work as manual laborers can expect their livelihoods to be severely threatened as well.

During an interview, Omi Wilang highlighted Aborigine people’s worries about
ECFA. He was joined by West Amis Presbytery’s Rev. Kino Lafin who pointed out that signing an ECFA would make Aborigines’ lives even harder than before because they would be further marginalized.

Kino Lafin underscored that ECFA would allow Chinese produce to flood Taiwan’s market, which would harm Aborigines who make a living by selling their crops.

He added that Aborigines used to grow and sell fresh produces such as mushrooms, tremellas, and flammulinas. But when Chinese imports of these produces were allowed in Taiwan, Aborigines produces were no longer able to compete in price and as result lost their market to Chinese businesses.

If such a scenario took place long before an ECFA was signed, one can only
imagine how Aborigines will be devastated once ECFA becomes a fait accompli. Kino Lafin listed as example that Aborigines usually sell their peaches for approximately NT$120 to NT$130 per 600 gram, but peaches from China can average as low as NT$30 to NT$40 per 600 gram.

Opening the floodgates to all Chinese products will surely lead to mass
unemployment among Aborigines and pose great challenges to ordinary Taiwanese farmers as well, said Kino Lafin.

Such grave concerns are what prompted many members from Tainan Presbytery to rent a bus and travel to Taipei to take part in this march and voice their displeasure.

Many PCT pastors from local churches in Taipei joined them at this march as well.

source: WFN