China-Taiwan "free-trade pact"

amoy

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but there is one hugh difference between the two societies, and that is FREEDOM...
hey, eonomic freedom, financial freedom, freedom from starvation - amongst all kinds of freedoms

In the social production of their existence, men inevitably enter into definite relations, which are independent of their will, namely relations of production appropriate to a given stage in the development of their material forces of production. The totality of these relations of production constitutes the economic structure of society, the real foundation, on which arises a legal and political superstructure, and to which correspond definite forms of consciousness. The mode of production of material life conditions the general process of social, political, and intellectual life. It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but their social existence that determines their consciousness. At a certain stage of development, the material productive forces of society come into conflict with the existing relations of production or — this merely expresses the same thing in legal terms — with the property relations within the framework of which they have operated hitherto. From forms of development, of the productive forces, these relations turn into their fetters. Then begins an era of social revolution. The changes in the economic foundation lead, sooner or later, to the transformation of the whole, immense, superstructure.
 

Rage

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It is a fact that the European Economic Zone preceded the European Union. History has shown that economic union precedes political union for culturally-similar entities. I'm pretty sure that your example of India and Nepal doesn't apply. I don't think Nepalese speak Hindi.
I don't know what 'political union' you're talking about. Europe had a military union, arguably something that takes more doing than an 'economic union', and on the spectrum of int'l cooperation closer to a 'political union', before the European Union as a monetary confederation ever existed.

There is no 'fact' about the matter at all. A 'political union' is purely contingent upon the wills of the governments, and in the case of atleast Taiwan on the wills of the people, and is a far difficult thing to negotiate. And I see no such desire for reunification forthcoming. Business is purely else.

i'm sure you have no clue as to the cultural similarities between India and Nepal. Both share the same predominant religions- Hinduism, both speak a language that is distinctly close to each other and both share the same script- Devanagari. Both have similar genetic stock- Indo-Aryan: 71% in India and 80% in Nepal, and a sixth of Nepal's population: 5 million out of a total of 30 million earn their bread and butter in our country.


The European Union is indeed a political union as I claim. The European president is Herman Van Rompuy. "The European Parliament (EP) forms one half of the EU's legislature (the other half is the Council of the European Union, see below). The 736 (soon to be 751) Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) are directly elected by EU citizens every five years." See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Union#Parliament
The European Parliament is a political union of no significance. Furthermore, the analogy is inadmissible because a military union existed before a political union, and indeed an economic union, and is contingent upon Europe's unique post-War scenario, no reminiscence of which exists between China and Taiwan.

The European Parliament, to reiterate strongly a point above, has no legislative initiative. It has no de facto capacity, no binding resolutions, no power to enforce legislation within or influence upon the executive of countries. Its powers of supervision are limited to inter-governmental treaties and in that matter is no different from the roles of other trans-body governing organizations. Its 'laws', based upon 'co-decision', are of a particular trans-European flavour. It is a legislative union in confederacy, only. And, as such, is equivalent to the governing bodies of trans-regional organizations like the SCO and ECOWAS, albeit without the privilege of universal suffrage.

Please read the Wiki entry below:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Parliament
 

Rage

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I don't believe that any of those regional groupings is culturally-similar. The Europeans are culturally-similar Christians with the same cultural values. The Hans in China and Taiwan are even more culturally-similar than the Europeans; the similarity extends to linguistic heritage.

SAFTA is not culturally-similar because Indians are mostly Hindus and Pakistanis are Muslims. The religious divide seems impossible to bridge.

ASEAN nations have a long way to go before contemplating integration. The cultural values and religious beliefs among ASEAN nations are highly disparate in comparison to Christian Europe.

NAFTA nation Mexico does not fit very well with the United States and Canada. That is why the U.S. is building a giant wall along its southern border to keep out illegal Mexican immigrants. Forget integration, the U.S. is trying to keep out as many Mexicans as possible.
The culturally-similar thesis is irrelevant.

The Taiwanese have a democratic culture, the Chinese an authoritarian political culture. The two are worlds apart, and in the view of many Taiwanese, can not be abridged.

Despite religious differences, the Pakistanis and the Indians share a distinctly similar culture. Their food, clothing, cinema, verbal language, festivals, their manner of celebration and even current democratic cultures are distinctly similar. The Pakistanis are closer to the Indians culturally than to any other country in the region.

The Europeans share, not just common Judaeo-Christian values, but in most cases, similar political systems, a solidarity with social cohesion, common linguistic roots, passions in sport and recreation, clothing and cuisine.

The same applies to South Asian nations, nations of the Central Asian caucus and nations of Latin America.
 

Martian

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Brussels gathers more political power year after year

I don't know what 'political union' you're talking about. Europe had a military union, arguably something that takes more doing than an 'economic union', and on the spectrum of int'l cooperation closer to a 'political union', before the European Union as a monetary confederation ever existed.

There is no 'fact' about the matter at all. A 'political union' is purely contingent upon the wills of the governments, and in the case of atleast Taiwan on the wills of the people, and is a far difficult thing to negotiate. And I see no such desire for reunification forthcoming. Business is purely else.

i'm sure you have no clue as to the cultural similarities between India and Nepal. Both share the same predominant religions- Hinduism, both speak a language that is distinctly close to each other and both share the same script- Devanagari. Both have similar genetic stock- Indo-Aryan: 71% in India and 80% in Nepal, and a sixth of Nepal's population: 5 million out of a total of 30 million earn their bread and butter in our country.

The European Parliament is a political union of no significance. Furthermore, the analogy is inadmissible because a military union existed before a political union, and indeed an economic union, and is contingent upon Europe's unique post-War scenario, no reminiscence of which exists between China and Taiwan.

The European Parliament, to reiterate strongly a point above, has no legislative initiative. It has no de facto capacity, no binding resolutions, no power to enforce legislation within or influence upon the executive of countries. Its powers of supervision are limited to inter-governmental treaties and in that matter is no different from the roles of other trans-body governing organizations. Its 'laws', based upon 'co-decision', are of a particular trans-European flavour. It is a legislative union in confederacy, only. And, as such, is equivalent to the governing bodies of trans-regional organizations like the SCO and ECOWAS, albeit without the privilege of universal suffrage.

Please read the Wiki entry below:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Parliament
You say that you have no idea "what 'political union' [I'm] talking about." Let's ask an European to shed some light on the matter of political integration in the European Union. By the way, the creation of the position of permanent European president is an indication that European political integration is growing tighter.

http://www.squidoo.com/herman-van-rompuy-first-european-president

"Who is Herman Van Rompuy: First European President

Herman Van Rompuy, the First European President

Hello and welcome to Herman Van Rompuy, the First European President. The European Union enters a new phase: it's getting its first permanent President. Still, I don't like the European Union, and this nomination feels like a stone in a prison wall which will prevent Belgium from ever leaving the EU.

Don't take me wrong, this doesn't mean that I don't like Europe: I'm a proud European. It's just the economical and political union I have problems with.

This lens will talk you through the first permanent European President, Herman Van Rompuy, "former Belgium's Prime Minister.

If you would like to learn more about this person, take a cup coffee or tea and read on.


Herman Van Rompuy by Luc Van Braekel | Wikimedia Commons
Creative Commons License. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License."
 

Martian

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BBC and scholars believe that economic integration will lead to political union

The culturally-similar thesis is irrelevant.

The Taiwanese have a democratic culture, the Chinese an authoritarian political culture. The two are worlds apart, and in the view of many Taiwanese, can not be abridged.

Despite religious differences, the Pakistanis and the Indians share a distinctly similar culture. Their food, clothing, cinema, verbal language, festivals, their manner of celebration and even current democratic cultures are distinctly similar. The Pakistanis are closer to the Indians culturally than to any other country in the region.

The Europeans share, not just common Judaeo-Christian values, but in most cases, similar political systems, a solidarity with social cohesion, common linguistic roots, passions in sport and recreation, clothing and cuisine.

The same applies to South Asian nations, nations of the Central Asian caucus and nations of Latin America.
The BBC states that the China-Taiwan FTA is extremely important because "many believe [it] will be the most important agreement between the two sides in 60 years."

Taiwanese scholars say that the China-Taiwan FTA will lead to political union.

I agree with the BBC and Taiwanese scholars.
 

Jeypore

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hey, eonomic freedom, financial freedom, freedom from starvation - amongst all kinds of freedoms
It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but their social existence that determines their consciousness.


That is where me and you defers, Social existence does not create or determines consciousness, but one person in the society that determines his existence..
 

Rage

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You say that you have no idea "what 'political union' [I'm] talking about." Let's ask an European to shed some light on the matter of political integration in the European Union. By the way, the creation of the position of permanent European president is an indication that European political integration is growing tighter.

http://www.squidoo.com/herman-van-rompuy-first-european-president

"Who is Herman Van Rompuy: First European President

Herman Van Rompuy, the First European President

Hello and welcome to Herman Van Rompuy, the First European President. The European Union enters a new phase: it's getting its first permanent President. Still, I don't like the European Union, and this nomination feels like a stone in a prison wall which will prevent Belgium from ever leaving the EU.

Don't take me wrong, this doesn't mean that I don't like Europe: I'm a proud European. It's just the economical and political union I have problems with.

This lens will talk you through the first permanent European President, Herman Van Rompuy, "former Belgium's Prime Minister.

If you would like to learn more about this person, take a cup coffee or tea and read on.


Herman Van Rompuy by Luc Van Braekel | Wikimedia Commons
Creative Commons License. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License."
I believe you have no clue what I'm talking about. You and I are operating on different definitions of a 'political union'.

If, by "political reunification" (sic), you mean two countries that were formerly tither, have now been brought together under a common government, with common legal, political and executive jurisdiction in both, the European Union is not it. It has not been for 50 years, and perhaps will take another 50 years (though the opposition be tough) for that to consummate.

Even so, it would be a product of Europe's unique circumstances, in particular, the shared apprehension of another all-consuming war on the continent, a higher thinking origined in multiple decades of being a 'first-world country' and a balance of economic, military and political power among its prime incumbents, none of which exists with China and Taiwan, particularly with a China pointing upward of 1000 missiles at Taiwan.

Since you choose to give me a rhetorical interview, let me quote some sections of the Wikipedia article that will make this relevant.

The Parliament and Council are essentially two chambers in the bicameral legislative branch of the European Union, with legislative power being officially distributed equally between both chambers. However there are some differences from national legislatures; for example, neither the Parliament nor the Council have the power of legislative initiative (except for the fact that the Council has the power in some intergovernmental matters). In Community matters, this is a power uniquely reserved for the European Commission (the executive). Therefore, while Parliament can amend and reject legislation, to make a proposal for legislation, it needs the Commission to draft a bill before anything can become law.[38] However, the value of such a power is questioned, noting that only 15% of such initiatives in national parliaments become law due to the lack of executive support.[39] Yet it has been argued by former Parliament President Hans-Gert Pöttering that as the Parliament does have the right to ask the Commission to draft such legislation, and as the Commission is following Parliament's proposals more and more Parliament does have a de facto right of legislative initiative.[5]

Legislative procedure

With each new treaty, the powers of the Parliament, in terms of its role in the Union's legislative procedures, have expanded. The procedure which has slowly become dominant is the "ordinary legislative procedure" (previously named "codecision procedure"), which provides an equal footing between Parliament and Council. In particular, under the procedure, the Commission presents a proposal to Parliament and the Council which can only become law if both agree on a text, which they do (or not) through successive readings up to a maximum of three. In its first reading, Parliament may send amendments to the Council which can either adopt the text with those amendments or send back a "common position". That position may either be approved by Parliament, or it may reject the text by an absolute majority, causing it to fail, or it may adopt further amendments, also by an absolute majority. If the Council does not approve these, then a "Conciliation Committee" is formed. The Committee is composed of the Council members plus an equal number of MEPs who seek to agree a compromise. Once a position is agreed, it has to be approved by Parliament, by a simple majority.[4][41] This is also aided by Parliament's mandate as the only directly democratic institution, which has given it leeway to have greater control over legislation than other institutions, for example over its changes to the Bolkestein directive in 2006.[28]

The few other areas that operate the special legislative procedures are justice & home affairs, budget and taxation and certain aspects of other policy areas: such as the fiscal aspects of environmental policy. In these areas, the Council or Parliament decide law alone.[42] The procedure also depends upon which type of institutional act is being used.[4] The strongest act is a regulation, an act or law which is directly applicable in its entirety. Then there are directives which bind member states to certain goals which they must achieve. They do this through their own laws and hence have room to manoeuvre in deciding upon them. A decision is an instrument which is focused at a particular person or group and is directly applicable. Institutions may also issue recommendations and opinions which are merely non-binding, declarations.[43] There is a further document which does not follow normal procedures, this is a "written declaration" which is similar to an early day motion used in the Westminster system. It is a document proposed by up to five MEPs on a matter within the EU's activities used to launch a debate on that subject. Having been posted outside the entrance to the hemicycle, members can sign the declaration and if a majority do so it is forwarded to the President and announced to the plenary before being forwarded to the other institutions and formally noted in the minutes.[44]
[edit] Budget

The legislative branch officially holds the Union's budgetary authority with powers gained through the Budgetary Treaties of the 1970s and the Lisbon Treaty. The EU budget is subject to a form of the ordinary legislative procedure with a single reading giving Parliament power over the entire budget (before 2009, its influence was limited to certain areas) on an equal footing to the Council. If there is a disagreement between them, it is taken to a conciliation committee as it is for legislative proposals. If the joint conciliation text is not approved, the Parliament may adopt it budget definitively.[42]

The Parliament is also responsible for discharging the implementation of previous budgets based on the annual report of the European Court of Auditors. It has refused to approve the budget only twice, in 1984 and in 1998. On the latter occasion it led to the resignation of the Santer Commission; highlighting how the budgetary power gives Parliament a great deal of power over the Commission.[16][25][45] Parliament also makes extensive use of its budgetary, and other powers, elsewhere; for example in the setting up of the European External Action Service, Parliament has a defacto veto over its design as it has to approve the budgetary and staff changes.[46]
[edit] Control of the executive

Unlike most EU states, which usually operate parliamentary systems, there is a separation of powers between the executive and legislative which makes the European Parliament more akin to the United States Congress than an EU state legislature.[39] The President of the European Commission is proposed by the Council (in practice by the European Council) on the basis of the European elections to Parliament.[32] That proposal has to be approved by the Parliament (by a simple majority) who "elect" the President according to the treaties. Following the approval of the Commission President, the members of the Commission are proposed by the President in accord with the member-states. Each Commissioner comes before a relevant parliamentary committee hearing covering the proposed portfolio. They are then, as a body, approved or rejected by the Parliament.[21][47] In practice, the Parliament has never voted against a President or his Commission, but it did seem likely when the Barroso Commission was put forward. The resulting pressure forced the proposal to be withdrawn and changed to be more acceptable to parliament.[26] That pressure was seen as an important sign by some of the evolving nature of the Parliament and its ability to make the Commission accountable, rather than being a rubber stamp for candidates. Furthermore, in voting on the Commission, MEPs also voted along party lines, rather than national lines, despite frequent pressure from national governments on their MEPs. This cohesion and willingness to use the Parliament's power ensured greater attention from national leaders, other institutions and the public—who previously gave the lowest ever turnout for the Parliament's elections.[48]

The Parliament also has the power to censure the Commission if they have a two-thirds majority which will force the resignation of the entire Commission from office. As with approval, this power has never been used but it was threatened to the Santer Commission, who subsequently resigned of their own accord. There are a few other controls, such as: the requirement of Commission to submit reports to the Parliament and answer questions from MEPs; the requirement of the President-in-office of the European Council to present their programme at the start of their presidency; the right of MEPs to make proposals for legislation and policy to the Commission and Council; and the right to question members of those institutions (e.g. "Commission Question Time" every Tuesday).[21][47] At present, MEPs may ask a question on any topic whatsoever, but in July 2008 MEPs voted to limit questions to those within the EU's mandate and ban offensive or personal questions.[49]
[edit] Supervisory powers

The Parliament also has other powers of general supervision, mainly granted by the Maastricht Treaty.[50] The Parliament has the power to set up a Committee of Inquiry, for example over mad cow disease or CIA detention flights—the former led to the creation of the European veterinary agency. The Parliament can call other institutions to answer questions and if necessary to take them to court if they break EU law or treaties.[51] Furthermore it has powers over the appointment of the members of the Court of Auditors[52] and the president and executive board of the European Central Bank. The ECB president is also obliged to present an annual report to the parliament.[51]

The European Ombudsman is elected by the Parliament, who deals with public complaints against all institutions.[51] Petitions can also be brought forward by any EU citizen on a matter within the EU's sphere of activities. The Committee on Petitions hears cases, some 1500 each year, sometimes presented by the citizen themselves at the Parliament. While the Parliament attempts to resolve the issue as a mediator they do resort to legal proceedings if it is necessary to resolve the citizens dispute.[53]
Even with economic regulation of a trans-European nature, their primary purview, the following resolution applies:

Delegated legislative powers: only within certain limits

May 5, 2010

From humanitarian emergencies to technical rules and regulations, swift minor adjustments are sometimes needed to EU legislation without resorting to lengthy procedures. The Lisbon Treaty introduced a new streamlined system for delegating to the European Commission the power to make minor changes to EU laws when needed. MEPs adopted a resolution on Wednesday stating how these powers should be delegated, under what conditions and limits, and how the Commission's use of them should be monitored.

Only "non-essential" parts of a legislative act may be supplemented or amended by the Commission. The "essential" parts cannot be delegated. Such changes to EU legislation may be needed to take account of scientific or technical progress or specific events, or to update quantitative values. For example Parliament has decided that the Commission may change the technical requirements for a rabies vaccination to be deemed valid for a "pet passport", to take account of scientific progress.

Wednesday's resolution, drafted by József Szájer (EPP, HU) for the Legal Affairs Committee, explains that delegated acts will have important implications in many areas (agriculture, environment, transport, industry, etc) and argues that Parliament should be on a equal footing with the Council with respect to all aspects of the power of legislative delegation.

Under the treaty, power may be delegated solely by means of a legislative act. Today's resolution adds that Parliament and the Council must, within an act, define "expressly and meticulously" the objectives, content, scope and duration of the delegation of power.
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/...IPR74115-05-05-2010-2010-false/default_en.htm
 

Jeypore

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http://www.nytimes.com/1997/02/01/opinion/01iht-edsaich.t.html


I was first a student in China in the 1970s in the latter years of the Cultural Revolution. It is clear to anyone who was in the country then that the realm of individual liberty has expanded enormously. In those days, Communist Party control penetrated every aspect of life. The blue uniform of Maoism was mandatory, a casual comment to a foreigner would most likely result in interrogation, and Western classical music and flowers were outlawed as manifestations of a bourgeois lifestyle. The courts had been abolished, there were virtually no laws and the only legal framework was provided by very simple state and party constitutions. In practice, this meant that law was the whim of the local Communist official. Arbitrary arrest and sentencing were commonplace.

This guy from reading above article is clearly stating that how it was before and how it is now, nowhere close to true freedom!!!! And also that true Culture revolution never happen. Remember Tiaman Square!!!
 

Rage

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The BBC states that the China-Taiwan FTA is extremely important because "many believe [it] will be the most important agreement between the two sides in 60 years."

Taiwanese scholars say that the China-Taiwan FTA will lead to political union.

I agree with the BBC and Taiwanese scholars.
In the same article, the BBC also made worthy mention of a "major demonstration" to be held this Saturday, in protest against the agreement.

And it also made special mention of "fears that it could unleash a flood of cheaper Chinese goods, cost thousands of jobs and make Taiwan too dependent on China" and fears that it could "be the first step by Beijing to eventually take back Taiwan".

Here is the full report:


Taiwan and China agree details of key trade deal

By Cindy Sui
BBC News, Taipei


Taiwan and China have finalised details of what many believe will be the most important agreement between the two sides in 60 years.

The agreement - similar to a free-trade pact - will cut export tariffs and give more access to each other's market.

While it is expected to boost Taiwan's $390bn (£260bn) economy, critics are worried it could give China too much influence over the democratic island.

The two sides split at the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949.

Cheaper goods

Following a year of negotiations, the two sides hammered out the agreement on Thursday. It gives Taiwan more economic benefits than China.

More than 500 Taiwanese products - including auto parts, petrochemicals and fruit - will be able to enter the booming Chinese market with reduced tariffs immediately and no tariffs within three years.

Only about half the number of Chinese products will get similar treatment in Taiwan.

Taiwan's government said the deal will boost trade, increase economic growth and help the island's exports stay competitive.

But critics fear it could unleash a flood of cheaper Chinese goods, cost thousands of jobs and make Taiwan too dependent on China.

And they warn it could be the first step by Beijing to eventually take back Taiwan, citing the unusual concessions Beijing has made.

China still considers Taiwan its province and has more than 1,000 missiles targeting the island to warn it against declaring formal independence.

The agreement is scheduled to be signed in China next Tuesday.

A major demonstration is being planned in Taiwan by the opposition party Saturday to protest against the agreement.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/asia_pacific/10406487.stm
 

amoy

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Martian, Han Chinese is a big basket consisting of different sub-groups (certainly u already know this). I'm among the closest /akin to Taiwanese.

My perception (and of most of us), the genuine attitude of Taiwanese grassroots as well as their 'elites', unlike your 'wishful thinking'

Yes to 'Free Trade' Pact (ECFA)
No to 'Political Union


Taiwanese wanna gain as much advantage economically from the rising mainland as possible, but meantime would prefer status quo politically (2 parallelled regimes). Other than what has been pointed out by other posters (ideology alike), some more cool-down points

1) in current Taiwan's two-party system pro-independence DPP actually rules <1/2 of Taiwan and may even win next presidential election if KMT doesn't prove competent. Voters are more obsessed with issues such as employment, corruption, and public security than 'union' or 'unificaiton' with mainland. Grand-China-minded KMT in fact has lost a few local elections

2) Taiwan will keep 'an arm's length' with Mainland while Uncle Sam who's its top ally and 'patron' will keep on reminding TW from time to time not to go too far


Of course a prospect for a EU-alike 'political union' (as u sketched above) cannot be ruled out when TW gets more and more dependent on Mainland , and political culture of Mainland evolves (ref. Japan, S Korea). That's what's happening now. Positively TW and ML have stopped vying for diplomatic ties in the world community . Besides, TW and ML may reach a 'peace or non-hostility accord' in future.

But, the real merging may take decades and decades ... when FUNDAMENTAL changes take place on both sides.
 
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Martian

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"Most young people believe there will be no future without being part of China"

Martian, Han Chinese is a big basket consisting of different sub-groups (certainly u already know this). I'm among the closest /akin to Taiwanese.

My perception (and of most of us), the genuine attitude of Taiwanese grassroots as well as their 'elites', unlike your 'wishful thinking'

Yes to 'Free Trade' Pact (ECFA)
No to 'Political Union


Taiwanese wanna gain as much advantage economically from the rising mainland as possible, but meantime would prefer status quo politically (2 parallelled regimes). Other than what has been pointed out by other posters (ideology alike), some more cool-down points

1) in current Taiwan's two-party system pro-independence DPP actually rules <1/2 of Taiwan and may even win next presidential election if KMT doesn't prove competent. Voters are more obsessed with issues such as employment, corruption, and public security than 'union' or 'unificaiton' with mainland. Grand-China-minded KMT in fact has lost a few local elections

2) Taiwan will keep 'an arm's length' with Mainland while Uncle Sam who's its top ally and 'patron' will keep on reminding TW from time to time not to go too far


Of course a prospect for a EU-alike 'political union' (as u sketched above) cannot be ruled out when TW gets more and more dependent on Mainland , and political culture of Mainland evolves (ref. Japan, S Korea). That's what's happening now. Positively TW and ML have stopped vying for diplomatic ties in the world community . Besides, TW and ML may reach a 'peace or non-hostility accord' in future.

But, the real merging may take decades and decades ... when FUNDAMENTAL changes take place on both sides.
We are in agreement that a "real merging may take decades." I will be here in fifty years to celebrate the political reunification. First, Hong Kong returned to the motherland. Next was Macau. Taiwan's turn will come.

The views of young Taiwanese (e.g. "people in their twenties or early thirties") on Chinese reunification are extremely important. They are the next generation of leaders. When the elder generation dies from old age, Taiwan will belong to today's young people.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gilbert-b-ka...i_b_406039.html

"Gilbert B. Kaplan

Former Deputy Assistant and Acting Assistant Secretary of the U. S. Department of Commerce
Posted: December 29, 2009 01:05 PM

Letter from Taiwan: 100 Million Manufacturing Employees Next Door
...
Taiwan prides itself on being a merger of Chinese, Japanese and Western culture. There is definitely a feel of all three in the country. The United States used to have a special relationship with the small state, though that has definitely faded. Now, for Americans, perhaps the most important thing about Taiwan is what its younger generation is saying. Speak to people in their twenties or early thirties, and they basically have given up on resisting China. They think the game is over and that it would be better to simply merge in some way with the mainland. This marks a dramatic shift from about ten years ago, when one engineer I was working with on Taiwan said "China, we hate China. We don't want to have anything to do with them. They are so poor." The mainland was viewed as backward, uneducated, and politically oppressed. Now the concern is almost the reverse.

Most young people believe there will be no future without being part of China. Some talk about a merger into China in 50 years. The standard of living on the mainland, long much lower than in China, is catching up. In the Shanghai region, most often compared to Taiwan, the yearly GDP per capita is within several thousand dollars. Yes, there is a catch. Ask a young Taiwanese what they think about freedom of speech and political rights, clearly denied in China as made strikingly clear by the eleven year sentence given to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo last week. They shrug, "yes, those are important, but..." And then it seems hard for them to finish the sentence. They usually get around to saying, with some hesitance, that economic prosperity and economic security are more important than "rights," and, anyway, what can they do about the inexorable march of "progress."

It probably will not take 50 years for China to take over Taiwan, and China would probably not put up with the situation for that long. Now will they have to. China's business model is working against Taiwan, as it is working against the rest of the world, but faster and more effectively. The de facto merger is occurring, in part, as a result of industrial relocation into China by the major Taiwanese manufacturers, the companies that had comprised much of the Taiwan "economic miracle" of the 1980's and 90's. China, flush with money from it's aggressive mercantilist trading strategy, has provided a host of incentives to Taiwanese companies, making them offers they can't refuse. The Chinese have created special government run industrial parks just for Taiwanese companies. They have created an entire section in their laws on providing incentives to the Taiwanese to build-up industries within mainland China. And they have a special set of grants and benefits they give to what they call "off-shore" Chinese who are bringing their companies back to China. Coupled with benefits on the cost of labor, almost every Taiwanese company comes knocking on China's door."
 

amoy

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Most young people believe there will be no future without being part of China"
Let's be realistic and face the music - few YOUNG Taiwanese want 'reunification' or 'political union'.

The younger The less pro-Unification. What they want is economic benefits, employment opportunities, and peace with Mainland... but not 'merging' (for now)


Older generation who regard China as motherland gradually die out... For younger generations they are not enthusiatic about the cultural affinities, or nationalism.

Taiwnese love to be on the hedge.....


Don't mix up WISHES with REALITY
 

redragon

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History shows us that things are not always go the way majority want, the so called free will/freedom is controllable and in fact very easy to be lead/mislead
 
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Rage

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We are in agreement that a "real merging may take decades." I will be here in fifty years to celebrate the political reunification. First, Hong Kong returned to the motherland. Next was Macau. Taiwan's turn will come.

The views of young Taiwanese (e.g. "people in their twenties or early thirties") on Chinese reunification are extremely important. They are the next generation of leaders. When the elder generation dies from old age, Taiwan will belong to today's young people.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gilbert-b-ka...i_b_406039.html

"Gilbert B. Kaplan

Former Deputy Assistant and Acting Assistant Secretary of the U. S. Department of Commerce
Posted: December 29, 2009 01:05 PM

Letter from Taiwan: 100 Million Manufacturing Employees Next Door
...
Taiwan prides itself on being a merger of Chinese, Japanese and Western culture. There is definitely a feel of all three in the country. The United States used to have a special relationship with the small state, though that has definitely faded. Now, for Americans, perhaps the most important thing about Taiwan is what its younger generation is saying. Speak to people in their twenties or early thirties, and they basically have given up on resisting China. They think the game is over and that it would be better to simply merge in some way with the mainland. This marks a dramatic shift from about ten years ago, when one engineer I was working with on Taiwan said "China, we hate China. We don't want to have anything to do with them. They are so poor." The mainland was viewed as backward, uneducated, and politically oppressed. Now the concern is almost the reverse.

Most young people believe there will be no future without being part of China. Some talk about a merger into China in 50 years. The standard of living on the mainland, long much lower than in China, is catching up. In the Shanghai region, most often compared to Taiwan, the yearly GDP per capita is within several thousand dollars. Yes, there is a catch. Ask a young Taiwanese what they think about freedom of speech and political rights, clearly denied in China as made strikingly clear by the eleven year sentence given to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo last week. They shrug, "yes, those are important, but..." And then it seems hard for them to finish the sentence. They usually get around to saying, with some hesitance, that economic prosperity and economic security are more important than "rights," and, anyway, what can they do about the inexorable march of "progress."

It probably will not take 50 years for China to take over Taiwan, and China would probably not put up with the situation for that long. Now will they have to. China's business model is working against Taiwan, as it is working against the rest of the world, but faster and more effectively. The de facto merger is occurring, in part, as a result of industrial relocation into China by the major Taiwanese manufacturers, the companies that had comprised much of the Taiwan "economic miracle" of the 1980's and 90's. China, flush with money from it's aggressive mercantilist trading strategy, has provided a host of incentives to Taiwanese companies, making them offers they can't refuse. The Chinese have created special government run industrial parks just for Taiwanese companies. They have created an entire section in their laws on providing incentives to the Taiwanese to build-up industries within mainland China. And they have a special set of grants and benefits they give to what they call "off-shore" Chinese who are bringing their companies back to China. Coupled with benefits on the cost of labor, almost every Taiwanese company comes knocking on China's door."

Let's not get enmeshed in one side of the story.

Here is an equally, if not more valid, article:

Support for Taiwan independence at its highest level in twelve years: poll

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Support for Taiwan Independence is at its highest in 12 years, a poll released by a prominent magazine reported Tuesday.

CommonWealth Magazine found that almost one out of every four Taiwanese was hoping for the island to be truly independent, according to its 2009 "State of the Nation" annual survey.

Of the 23.5 percent independence proponents, 18.6 percent said they wanted independence while maintaining peaceful relations with China, but 4.9 percent said Taiwan should declare independence soon, no matter what Beijing's opinion was.

Only 6.5 percent was in favor of rapid unification with China, the lowest total ever in the magazine's annual survey. A total of 57.8 percent supported the status quo, the publication said.


Support for Taiwan Independence was rising because there was concern about President Ma Ying-jeou's administration moving too rapidly to improve relations with China
, the Chinese-language Apple Daily quoted Tamkang University's top China expert Chang Wu-yueh as saying.

The survey came after months of intensive rapprochement between Taiwan and China, culminating in the November visit of China's top cross-straits negotiator Chen Yunlin and the December arrival of two pandas from Sichuan Province at the Taipei Zoo.

As the result of agreements signed during Chen's visit, Taiwan and China also opened direct shipping links and expanded direct charter flights. Plans to intensify financial, investment, educational and cultural exchanges have also advanced at a rapid pace since Ma took office last May.
http://www.taiwannews.com.tw/etn/news_content.php?id=827329


Note the statistics.


Also, please note the comments in this article:


Taiwan: Independence or Unification?
 
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Rage

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Furthermore, statistics from a Global View Survey Poll recently taken in Taiwan:


I recently came across an opinion poll from the Global View Survey Research Center concerning present public opinion in Taiwan on a range of subjects. In the past, many of us have commented on the state of affairs in Taiwan, not only in terms of her relationship to China but also involving the political thought within the nation. Rather than draw any conclusions, I thought I'd make this same data available to our blog members and see what you think.

The entire report can be found at the Global Survey Research Center website. The main points are as follows, with far more information and graphs contained in the survey itself:


Survey on President Ma Ying-jeou's Performance after Assuming KMT Chairpersonship, Ma-Hu Meeting, and Taiwanese People's views on Unification with China and Independence

A. In response to President Ma's returning to the helm of the KMT, 51.7 percent of the respondents did not think it would create a clean image for the KMT and 41.7 percent said Ma was not competent to promote democratic reforms within the party.

B. 43.9 percent said it was appropriate if President Ma Ying-joue and his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao met as leaders of ruling parties across the Strait while 36.5 percent said inappropriate.

C. Taiwanese people's views on independence-unification issue: 51.7 percent favored status quo, 29.3 percent independence and 8.3 percent unification. People's stance on ultimately independence-unification issue: 47.2 percent of people were supportive of ultimate independence while 34.1 percent were not. 15.7 percent backed ultimate unification with China while 69 percent voiced opposition.

D. President Ma Ying-jeou's approval rating is 29.5 percent and disproval rating is 58.6 percent this month. 41.8 percent trusted him but 42.4 percent not.

E. KMT lawmakers' approval rating is 21.9 percent and disapproval rating is 58.5 percent.



I also found data from the same source in this Kuomintang News Network website:

Global Views Survey Research Center

Survey: Signing of an ECFA and cross-Strait exchanges, views on reunification and independence, President Ma's approval ratings

1. Do you think signing a cross-Strait ECFA is important to Taiwan's economy?

Yes: 54.4% No: 19.2% No opinion/Don't know: 26.4%

2. Do you think that signing an ECFA with the Mainland is tantamount to reunifying with the Mainland under the PRC?

Yes: 30.7% No: 49% No opinion/Don't know: 20.3%

3. Do you think that the government would minimize the negative impact and protect people's rights when signing an ECFA with the Mainland?

Yes: 28.1% No: 55.3% No opinion/Don't know: 16.6%

4. For Taiwan's economy to improve, do you think cross-Strait economic exchanges should increase or decrease?

Increase: 44.6% Decrease: 27.8% No opinion/Don't know: 27.6%

5. Do you think the DPP supports increasing the scale of cross-Strait exchanges?

Yes: 17.9% No: 59.8% No opinion/Don't know: 22.3%

6. If DPP increased its cross-Strait exchanges with the Mainland, do you think it would help Taiwan in striving for its overall interests?

Yes: 49.1% No: 32.4% No opinion/Don't know: 18.5%

7. Over the next two years, do you think that the DPP needs to adjust its Mainland policy and the way they deal with the Mainland?

More open: 51.2% More conservative: 11.9% No need to change: 8.6% No opinion/Don't know: 28.3%

8. What is your current stance on reunification versus independence?

Maintain the status quo for now, see what happens later: 42.5% Support Taiwan independence: 23.9% Maintain the status quo forever: 7.6% Reunify with mainland China: 7.4% Decline to respond: 18.69%

9. Do you think that both sides of the Strait should reunify in the end?

Yes: 18.9% No: 54.7% No opinion/Don't know: 26.3%

10. Do you think that Taiwan should become independent in the end?

Yes: 42.1% No: 30.2% No opinion/Don't know: 27.7%

11. President Ma Ying-jeou's approval and trust ratings (December 2009):

Satisfied: 23.5% Dissatisfied: 62.2%

Trust: 38% Distrust: 46.4%

12. If you were to vote again in a Presidential election now, would you vote for KMT's Ma Ying-jeou or the DPP?

KMT's Ma Ying-jeou: 39.8% DPP: 28.4% Don't know/No opinion: 31.8%

13. Figures showing satisfaction ratings of the KMT legislators in the Legislative Yuan (December 2009):

Satisfied: 20.3% Dissatisfied: 59.8%


Note: This poll was conducted from 18:20 pm to 22:00 pm between December 14 and 16, 2009 with 1,022 people over 20 years of age surveyed. The margin of error associated with this sample is plus or minus 3.1 % with a 95 % confidence interval.

Source: Global Views Magazine Public Opinion Poll Center

There is far more information in the Global View Survey Research Center article, so be sure to check it out. The KMT information has other dates in the survey that might be of interest. I only listed the numbers as of December 2009 but you can see the trends if you look at the surveys themselves.


Different polls are not comparable, the TVBS poll below has unification at 4% instead of GVSRC's 7%:

http://www.tvbs.com.tw/FILE_DB/DL_DB/doshouldo/200912/doshouldo-20091218191946.pdf

Both polls shows a clear trend of decreasing support for unification.

No surprise there.


From the Kuomintang News website.

 
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Rage

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That the public'c confidence in MaYing-jeu is eroding is evident in:

President Ma will lose 2012 elections: CLSA

President Ma Ying-jeou will lose the 2012 presidential elections because he has completely lost public confidence, newspapers quoted analysts at financial group CLSA as saying yesterday.

The Hong Kong-based CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets brokerage and investment company is an independent subgroup of French bank Credit Agricole.

The Ma administration's handling of a wide range of issues, from last August's Typhoon Morakot disaster to the opening to imports of bone-in beef from the United States, has met with strong public dissatisfaction, senior analyst Bruce Warden said in a report titled "The KMT as its own worst enemy."

The government's habits of provoking "self-inflicted wounds" would cause the ruling Kuomintang to lose the 2012 elections, the Chinese-language Liberty Times daily quoted the report as saying.

The failure of the central government to respond quickly and adequately to local needs and public opinion had stayed in the minds of voters, especially following Typhoon Morakot, Warden was quoted as saying.

In the case of the U.S. beef imports, KMT lawmakers immediately stopped their support for the government and took their own stance in opposition to Ma's policies, according to the report.

The latest faux-pas by the government was to refuse a referendum about the plans for an Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement with China. The refusal of the plebiscite demanded by the opposition gave the impression that the KMT was unable to reflect public opinion, Warden wrote. The government's attitude was giving the opposition Democratic Progressive Party an opportunity to close in on Ma, endangering his eventual bid for a second term, the report said.

Over the past few months, the KMT performed poorly in a series of elections, including county and city elections and by-elections for legislative seats. At the end of the year, it will be facing a major challenge in mayoral elections for five of Taiwan's most populated areas.

CLSA has a history of predicting political events and election outcomes, the Liberty Times said. In 2003, it accurately predicted that President Chen Shui-bian would win re-election the following year despite frequent opinion polls to the contrary.


http://www.etaiwannews.com/etn/news_content.php?id=1211169&lang=eng_news

If Ma does lose elections, as is predicted, relations with China will take a big step back.
 
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Rage

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Even with Ma Ying-Jeu, the following transpired not long ago:


Taiwan President Says No Unification Talks With China

22 May 2010

By Wu Tsen-hsi
Epoch Times Staff



TAIPEI, Taiwan—Two years after his inauguration as president of the Republic of China (Taiwan), Ma Ying-Jeou spoke about cross-strait politics with China at a press conference on May 20.

Ma stated that even though both countries had signed the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), he had no future plans to meet with Chinese leader Hu Jintao.

Taiwanese media focused on whether Ma plans to meet with Hu. Ma explained that his priority is to take care of the trade and investment issues between the two countries because there are still many things around the existing project that need to be done.

He said that he would not rule out the possibility of meeting Hu. However, he added, "I will not engage in political talks with China or meet with its leader right after we sign the ECFA. It's too premature."

When asked about the schedule for signing the Cross-Strait Peace Treaty, Ma denied there was a set schedule. "We cannot predict when will be the right time to talk about a peace agreement," he said.

According to Ma, there is still much disagreement on political issues, and the Chinese Communist Party has not changed its stance of "one country, two systems, peaceful unification" on the Taiwan issues.

Ma believes, however, that setting the issue of unification aside, economic development between the two countries can reduce the possibility of war. Ma stressed that signing the ECFA is purely based on economic considerations: "No matter how long I am in office, I will not talk about unification with China, and this has not changed."

When questioned about the issue that China has not stopped attempting to intimidate Taiwan by "flexing its military muscles" near Taiwan while the cross-strait economic ties strengthen, Ma said that there is no way that Taiwan could invest as many resources into its military development as China does.

However, he stressed that Taiwan's military strategy is to build a refined and strong defense system that can intimidate China and substantially raise the cost of invading Taiwan.

Ma also said that he would not give up on building a military defense system. He said that Taiwan would continue to purchase weapons from the United States. "Of course we need to buy defensive weapons to show that we are determined to defend ourselves," he said.

Tsai Chi-Chang, spokesperson of the opposing party, commented that Ma is still working from a "pro-China" box. Tsai does not believe that signing the ECFA will benefit the general public in Taiwan.

Chang Wu-ueh, director of Graduate Institute of China Studies in Tamkang University, said in a forum on May 20 that there have been concerns and objections raised about signing the ECFA because it opens up Taiwan to China too fast.

According to Chang, this could hurt Taiwan's safety and sovereignty and make Taiwan economically dependent on China.

Read the original Chinese article.

http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/35972/
 

Martian

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Final Analysis

I have given due consideration to the opposing minority view.

Fifty years are a long time.

My final analysis is that the probability of China-Taiwan reunification is 85% that it will happen and 15% that it may not happen within 50 years.

I want to thank everyone for contributing to the debate and your persistence in arguing for the 15% probability. However, in your heart, I suspect that you know that you're on the low-probability side.
 
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lurker

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Just to clarify, In what context do you mean 'the opposing minority view'? This forum? the internet? China? East Asia? the world?
 

ChinaToday

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china and taiwan isnt vey much an issue these days, most people in taiwan all got some kind of connections in china, the turning point in favour of reunification with china is when the taiwanese saw how well hongkong and macau were managed since its handed over back to the chinese and infact it was china that helped the speedy recovery of hongkong when its bubble bust a few years back. China economic might already makes it way into taiwan and affecting almost every one in every day life.Taiwanese knew she needs china more than china needs her, only matter of time taiwan will request to be unified with or be part of china with the conditions that similarly to hongkong.
 

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