In a Nov. 4 press conference, Democratic Progressive Party Chair Ing-wen Tsai warned that the four SEF-ARATS agreements signed this day in
Tsai noted that the four agreements signed by Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) President Chiang Pin-kun and the Head of China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) Chen Yunlin had actually been previously discussed and negotiated during the DPP Administration but that the DPP had always ensured that further relaxation of cross-strait policies would result in limited social costs to the Taiwanese people. The DPP took measures to ease the transition and upgrade
Tsai also stated that the signing of the agreements would further create a closer economic relationship between
Instead of bringing anything new to the table in the negotiations, the Ma government struck a serious blow to
Chairperson Tsai added that according to the Statute Governing Relations Between Peoples of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland (兩岸人民關係條例), the agreements signed between SEF and ARATS must be sent to the Legislative Yuan for its review and ratification before the agreements can come into effect.
The Chairperson was joined by former Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Chairpersons Joseph Wu and Cheng Ming-tong, as well as agricultural expert Professor Wu Ming-ming.
Joseph Wu said that as a precondition of the resumption of the SEF-ARATS talks precondition, China had demanded Taiwan accept ‘One China” and the “1992 consensus” despite Chen Yunlin’s pledge not to discuss political issues during these talks. It is thus truly regrettable that the KMT acceded to
Joseph Wu further pointed out that the signed agreement on direct cargo flights in fact was very similar to his proposal during his term as the Chair of MAC. In other words, this demonstrated that the DPP was in fact successful in its negotiations with
Another former MAC Chair, Cheng Ming-tong said that the current SEF-ARATS talks were to discuss the complete implementation of the three-links. Regarding direct cargo flights, the new Northern route had deliberately avoided passing through a third country’s Flight Information Region. However the actual fight time mirrors the DPP’s proposed northern flight route, with the only difference being the Ma government’s northern flight route clearly avoids passing through
Chen further added that the agreement on direct shipping had been ambiguous, with tight restrictions and complicated approval processes. In fact there seems to be a lack of transparency on how companies are chosen to participate in the scheme, and there are already provisions that would prevent foreign registered shipping companies from participating in the direct shipping. Further agreements that flags are not to be displayed by both sides suggest that both the air cargo flights and shipping agreements had fallen prey to becoming domestic travel.
Professor Wu Ming-min said that the signing of the recent round of SEF-ARATS agreements basically is a preparation to lead down the path towards a One China Market, with the goal of using the business community and direct transportation links to ‘unify’
Ma Ying-jeou earlier had suggested that the signing of the agreements will help increase Taiwanese agricultural exports to China by 20%, and that the Agricultural and Fishing industry will benefit by about 10-15% growth. Wu also pointed out that Ma had apparently made these unrealistic promises with no intention for delivery. Wu said that Taiwanese agricultural products are several times more expensive than agricultural produce from
On the issue of the food safety agreement, Wu said that the most important issue for