ECFA, Another Insult from the People that Gave Taiwan 6-3-3

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Friday April 16, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

Only a complete dunce totally of touch with Taiwan's reality would claim ignorance of Ma Ying-jeou's infamous 6-3-3 promise in all its foolhardy glory. This campaign promise of the 2008 presidential elections came about when Ma's so-called A-Team of economic advisors told him that 6-3-3 was easily achievable and he should have no fear of promising it. It was of course a gross misread of the economic scene from the git-go. Despite all the back-tracking that it would have to wait until a nebulous transformation in 2016 when Ma could comfortably escape as well as attempts to blame it all on outside forces, the reality remains it was bad advice and a total economic misread.

What is the point? Well now two years later, Taiwan's public is being told there is a new sure fire cure at hand--ECFA. This is the great ECFA that is so transparent that after almost two years no one still knows what is in it. This is the great ECFA that must be signed before June or Taiwan's whole world will collapse. This is the great ECFA that Ma refuses to be put to a referendum by the people and that he begrudgingly agreed to let the Legislative Yuan see on the condition that it be his rubber stamp as well as his excuse if future blame should arise.

Ma has also agreed to debate the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson Tsai Ing-wen on ECFA on April 25, but to this point he refuses to share any details of what it is that they will be debating. Though Ma's team has made agreements etc. with the People's Republic of China (PRC) Ma is keeping the details secret from Tsai. Fair play? Not from the phony pony.

There is however, something more basic that the public should examine and realize. The same economic advisors that told us two years ago that 6-3-3 was in the bag are now telling us that ECFA is the new panacea. Forget for the moment the dangers to the country's sovereignty; just focus on economics. After being sold the clunker of 6-3-3, we are now being asked to trade it in for an even better deal, ECFA. How much more can the public take? What is Ma's aim? Is he purposely trying to insult the public? Does he feel they are complete dunces or does he even care?