Taiwan, Will the ECFA Early Harvest be the Early Shaft?

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Wednesday May 12, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

May 20 will mark the official two year anniversary of Ma Ying-jeou's inauguration as President of Taiwan. And while this is the half-way point of his four years as president, people are wondering what has he done? From the mishandling of Typhoon Morakot, to the erosion of justice, to the beef scandal, to the claims that Chinese tourists would rescue the economy with all of their tourists' dollars, the country is not in good shape. People are asking why? Yet to be sure, Ma's spin doctors will be working hard to stress all that has been done. Perhaps that is why Ma is pushing so hard to have an ECFA signed by June despite all the cautionary protests of numerous groups. Questions that will have to be examined in the coming weeks not only abound but seem to be multiplying, yet Ma pushes ahead so he can have something concrete to point to. Below are a sampling of the many concerns that are being voiced.

Why June? What is the magical reason for this month? Does not haste make waste? Is it because, Ma wants to have something in place to start trying to sell the November elections? Bottom line, why the rush?

Ma keeps touting the "early harvest" but people are really worrying that the early harvest will in reality be the early shaft. There is still no agreement on what this should entail, but Ma says give me a signed agreement regardless.

Deeper questions are also forming. Basic questions about not only the competence of Ma--he already has the name of "Ma the Incompetent" to questions about his credibility. But the deepest unspoken question that is welling up more and more is "Is it not time to start formulating plans to dump Ma?" Think about it.